New UK Film Selective Hearing: Brian Deer and the GMC
Sweet Dreams From Autism One

Flu Vaccine Triples Child Hospitalizations, but Won’t Turn Them into Horned, Hairy Apes, say Experts!

Mugato3 By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

Okay, maybe I made up the last part of that headline.

The real facts however, are bad enough.  According to new research to be presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society on May 19th in San Diego, CA, researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota “found that children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization, as compared to children who had not received the vaccine.”  (“Children Who Get Flu Vaccine Have Three Times Risk of Hospitalization For Flu, Study Suggests”, Science Daily, May 20, 2009)

The same pattern was reported in asthmatics.  Maybe I missed the importance of these factors, but the report also noted “no other factor-such as insurance plans or severity of asthma-appeared to affect risk of hospitalization.”  Okay, so I take this to mean that despite whether or not you had insurance, your child still had an increased risk of hospitalization if they got a flu shot.  I guess that means this can’t be blamed on all those parents with generous health plans putting their kids in the hospital so mom and dad can get a “date night.”

Or if you’re a parent of a child with asthma it means you're going to be making more trips to the hospital, regardless of whether your child has mild or severe asthma.  It's all so much more democratic!  Although I don't know how you're supposed to take this in light of previous studies which have shown "the concerns that vaccination my be associated with asthma exacerbations have been disproved with multiple studies in the past." I'm not sure, but I'm thinking, maybe the folks at the Mayo Clinic came up with a better designed study.

As most people are aware, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend annual influenza vaccination for all children aged six months to 18 years.  I’m curious how these organizations will respond to this new report.  I’m guessing they won’t suggest any changes to their recommendations.

And I bet there won’t be a single news organization which accuses them of being “anti-science.”

Kent Heckenlively is Legal Editor of Age of Autism


Pregnant Mother

The whole topic of vaccines can be daunting, its such s 'sacred cow' topic but as a parent its always a relief to find unbiased, well researched information. For anyone beginning this journey into uncovering your own truths for your own family, then I would recommend the "Well Adjusted Babies" website as an excellent place to begin....
Goodluck and great respect to all of you who seek to know, who respect free will and refuse to be herded into anything you believe may be unsafe for you or your beloved.


Actually, I find the comments on this website to be among the most scientifically informed of any autism website I've been to, and most science websites as well. I see no need to denigrate the very intelligent and informed parents and researchers who post here. Yes, we would all love for there to be a large-scale study to follow up on all these studies. We would LOVE for there to be the study that's never been done on the relative safety or lack thereof of vaccine adjuvants. A follow up study of the Shaw study or the Burbacher studies would be GREAT! We would LOVE for there to be a study on vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children for overall health outcomes. We have been loudly asking for those studies for years, and the CDC, HHS, and NIH have been putting their hands over their ears and saying "lalalalalalalalaIcanthearyoulalalala". Time's a wasting, Ben. Our kids need help NOW, not ten years from now. Ten years from now will be too late for them. So we'll take from the existing research what we can -- that doesn't make us unscientific, it just means that nobody else is doing sweet FA to help. Either lead, follow, or get out of the way.


"Date, night," lol!

Oh, but don't you know, if Timmy HADN'T gotten the flu vaccine, he would have gotten SO much sicker! So thank god I gave him the vaccine!


Ben -
In the meantime, while we wait for extensive well-conducted large-scale studies which may be on the far horizon if in process at all, shall we continue to give babies 36 vaccines including an annual flu shot which in most states still contains thimerosal? You keep pointing out that this is so complicated and we don't really know anything for sure. In the absence of absolute knowledge, should we continue to inject babies with aluminum (with no safe level established, per ) and proteins and multiple live viruses? Even when some vaccines such as the flu shot and Hep B are of dubious benefit to most babies? Shall we ignore the "anecdotal" accounts of vaccine reactions which remain anectdotal because they are not being studied? Shall we continue to ignore the anecdotal reports that a family history of auto-immune disorders or immune deficiency increases the risk of vaccine reactions?

It seems that you are saying, when in doubt continue full speed ahead with the current schedule, which in many states is required for school or even daycare.

Doing nothing because these issues are so complicated is not actually doing nothing -- it is continuing with the current schedule, which harms some babies.


Ben, I am glad you and I are on the same page. None of the mainstream studies we posted here have nothing to do with Kent's article. One is dealing with vaccine adverse outcomes in fish, the other with vaccine adverse outcomes in chicken. Yet another talks about potentially very bad things that some human vaccine ingredients can do to cultured cells. None of these has anything to do with Kent's article. These studies may have something to do with vaccine safety though, and possible implications for human health. Maybe. And if someone is investigating the potential LONG TERM health effects of vaccinations in humans, including systemic vaccine induced autoimmunity (which may or may not be linked to autism) ... if you know of such reseach going on right now or being called for in near future please do tell!!! Share with us will you.

John Stone


Personally, I was pointing out the way that the possibility that flu vaccines might make things worse was already being dismissed in the press release, so where is the due caution about the continuing use of flu vaccine? And anybody who saw this might wonder what good it was doing adults as well.

The point is a doubt about culture which usually doesn't do the research properly (maybe this is an exception) and always gives vaccines the benefit of the doubt. This is not scientific, but it is a recipe for catastrophe. For instance, when you have taken away the spin on Cochrane Review of MMR there is no re-assurance left about the safety of the vaccine, and no re-assurance about autism - none of the studies were good enough, and Cochrane gave us bureaucratic doublespeak covering it up. There are no safety checks, and the twisted, cynical message to families when it goes wrong is "prove it!"

We have a culture which aggressively, indeed angrily, dismisses people's experiences and insists on trust. Well sorry, you are cheating and you are bullying people to get your way. This is not science, it is social repression.


I'm surprised that anybody gets a flu shot. Who is that stupid? I know who. My aunt told me that my college aged cousin got the meningitis shot and got so sick with the flu ( ha ha) directly afterwards that now she always gets the flu shot every year. I almost fell over laughing. Why is pharma spending so much money paying off politician to get vaccines mandatory when they have a fertile ground of stupid Americans who willingly roll up their sleeves to be poisoned.


To twyla and others. I agree that the results of this study are disturbing, but the comments on this website are consistently opposed to mainstream science unless it is convenient. Another poster suggested that demonstrating that vaccines may not be effective would end someone's career, and yet the very study we are talking about does just that. This study has not been buried, they are presenting it at a major conference. Demonstrating that something like VIDS truly existed would be a nobel prize winning discovery.
Garbo and I agree that the next step here is to look further into why these kids were in the hospital. I am willing to consider the possibility that vaccines increased the risk of contracting influenza. Are you willing to consider that there may be another explanation?

As for the numerous abstracts that people have posted. They are all preliminary studies. These studies demonstrate some scary results but without followup studies it is difficult to ascertain any true connection. This is not a copout. Replication and further studies are the hallmark of good science. That is why pasting dozens of unrelated preliminary studies is not as powerful as a a few studies in increasing scale and size. This is especially true in animal studies. The studies presented are an amalgam of many different experiments and results that all may have some relation to autism, but none of these studies really builds on another. They are all testing for different things and come to different conclusions.


Here is another one, Ben, that has nothing to do with autism. Like the one before, which may or may not have something to do with Sudden Broiler Death Syndrome (but nothing whatsoever with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), this paper may have something to do with vaccine safety. In Salmon. But God forbid that some silly researcher attempts a large scale biological investigation to rule out the incredibily remote possibility that vaccination-induced systemic autoimmunity in salmon could have any bearing on humans. Because those clever epidemiological studies tell us clearly that vaccination-induced systemic autoimmunity in humans cannot possibly exist. If she or he is mad enough to try and waste time and money we will show them their place. Bring upon them Sudden Career Death Syndrome.

J Immunol. 2008 Oct 1;181(7):4807-14.

Vaccination-induced systemic autoimmunity in farmed Atlantic salmon.

Koppang EO et al. Department of Basic Sciences and Aquatic Medicine, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Ullevålsveien 72, Oslo, Norway.

Over half of the salmon consumed globally are farm-raised. The introduction of oil-adjuvanted vaccines into salmon aquaculture made large-scale production feasible by preventing infections. The vaccines that are given i.p. contain oil adjuvant such as mineral oil. However, in rodents, a single i.p. injection of adjuvant hydrocarbon oil induces lupus-like systemic autoimmune syndrome, characterized by autoantibodies, immune complex glomerulonephritis, and arthritis. In the present study, whether the farmed salmon that received oil-adjuvanted vaccine have autoimmune syndrome similar to adjuvant oil-injected rodents was examined. Sera and tissues were collected from vaccinated or unvaccinated Atlantic salmon (experimental, seven farms) and wild salmon. Autoantibodies (immunofluorescence, ELISA, and immunoprecipitation) and IgM levels (ELISA) in sera were measured. Kidneys and livers were examined for pathology. Autoantibodies were common in vaccinated fish vs unvaccinated controls and they reacted with salmon cells/Ags in addition to their reactivity with mammalian Ags. Diffuse nuclear/cytoplasmic staining was common in immunofluorescence but some had more specific patterns. Serum total IgM levels were also increased in vaccinated fish; however, the fold increase of autoantibodies was much more than that of total IgM. Sera from vaccinated fish immunoprecipitated ferritin and approximately 50% also reacted with other unique proteins. Thrombosis and granulomatous inflammation in liver, and immune-complex glomerulonephritis were common in vaccinated fish. Autoimmunity similar to the mouse model of adjuvant oil-induced lupus is common in vaccinated farmed Atlantic salmon. This may have a significant impact on production loss, disease of previously unknown etiology, and future strategies of vaccines and salmon farming. PMID: 18802084


Ben, you asked what this has to do with autism. Here is one of the ways it is related. Many parents report that their children became autistic after a round of vaccines. Besides being told that their observations and experiences have no significance, parents are told, "Well, would you rather your child be autistic or dead? Vaccines are necessary to save lives! Thousands of people die from the flu! Sure, vaccines can cause rare reactions, but they are necessary! They save lives!"

Yet, according to this study's abstract,
"The inactivated flu vaccine does not appear to be effective in preventing
influenza-related hospitalizations in children, especially the ones with asthma. In fact, children who get the flu vaccine are more at risk for hospitalization than their peers who do not get the vaccine..." and "children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization, as compared to children who had not received the vaccine."

For this we are adding yet another vaccine to the already crowded schedule? For this parents are giving their kids a vaccine that usually still contains a full does of thimerosal?

This is very relevant to the inadequate risk/benefit analysis occurring these days. As more and more vaccines are added to the schedule, the risks of so many vaccines are ignored. The risks of the diseases are exagerated. The benefits of the vaccines are exagerated.

Are 36 vaccines really necessary? Are babies who receive 36 vaccines healthier or less healthy than babies who receive fewer vaccines?

Michelle Smith



Yes, as we are all aware, the human body is complex, and we all know what a PUZZLE autism is. I am not "simply supposing" these issues are related. There have been several studies showing abnormal cytokines in autistic children. There's been a study showing that thimerosal (like that in those flu shots) causes T2 immune skewing by influencing cytokines and thereby depleting glutathione. There have been studies showing higher risk of autism in areas with the most mercury-laden pollution (i.e. coal fired power plants, etc.). There have been other studies showing how cytokines can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause brain damage. And still more showing how mercury suppresses the immune system and can cause autoimmunity. Yes, it's complicated. But it's all there to see, if you only wanted to look.

Neuroimmunology 2006:
Elevated cytokine levels in children with autism spectrum disorder.
Conclusion: Children with ASD had increased activation of both Th2 and Th1 arms of the adaptive immune response, with a Th2 predominance, and without the compensatory increase in the regulatory cytokine IL-10.

MIND Institute/UC Davis in 2005:
"isolated immune cells from blood samples taken from 30 children with autism and 26 typically developing children aged between two and five years of age. The cells from both groups were then exposed to bacterial and viral agents that usually provoke T-cells, B cells and macrophages – primary players in the immune system.

Of the agents tested in the study - tetanus toxoid, lippopolysaccharide derived from E. coli cell walls, a plant lectin known as PHA, and a preparation of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine antigens - the researchers found clear differences in cellular responses between patients and controls following exposure to the bacterial agents and PHA.

In response to bacteria, the researchers saw lower levels of protein molecules called cytokines in the group with autism. Cytokines function as mediators of the immune response, carrying messages between B, T and other immune cells. They also are known to be capable of having profound effects on the central nervous system, including sleep and the fever response. Immune system responses to PHA, in contrast, produced more varied cytokine levels: Higher levels of certain cytokines and lower levels of others.

According to Van de Water and Ashwood, these studies illustrate that under similar circumstances, the cytokine responses elicited by the T-cells, B-cells, and macrophage cell populations following their activation differs markedly in children with autism compared to age-matched children in the general population. Cytokines are known to affect mood and behavior, and while their specific role in the development of autism remains unclear, the potential connection is an intriguing area of research that warrants further investigation.

"This study is part of a larger effort to learn how changes in immune system response may make some children more susceptible to the harmful effects of environmental agents," said Kenneth Olden, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the federal agency that provided funding for the study. "A better understanding of the connection between altered immune response and autism may lead to significant advances in the early detection, prevention and treatment of this complex neurological disorder."

Toxicological Sciences Journal 2001:
"The proposed role of cytokines in the regulation of neuronal movement suggests a mechanism for the effects of MeHg on neural migration. Both mercury and methylmercury are immunotoxic, with well described effects on cytokine production and impaired ability to respond to cytokines related to both autoimmunity and immune suppression (Bagenstose et al.1999Go; El-Fawal et al.1999Go; Hultman and Hansson-Georgiadis, 1999Go; Kono et al.1998Go; Mehler and Kessler, 1997Go; Moszczynski, 1997Go)."

From 1995: "The amount of blood-borne cytokines entering the brain is modest but comparable to that of other water-soluble compounds, such as morphine, known to cross the BBB in sufficient amounts to affect brain function. Taken together, the evidence shows that passage of cytokines across the BBB occurs, providing a route by which blood-borne cytokines could potentially affect brain function."

So, let us suppose for a moment that this study does, when the facts are in, show that children who received the flu shot, were much more likely to be hospitalized if they contracted influenza. The next logical question for study will be why? And how? Is it because the thimerosal, which for some reason is allowed to remain in these vaccines, is suppressing their immune system? If so, how might that be remediated?


Sounds like this study can be used to substantially support the need for further vaccine studies including but not limited to the all important vaccinated vs non-vaccinated childrens and adults study

Teresa Conrick

to ben-

"confirmation bias" sounds very much like a sore loser term.

Did the study mention the amount of thimerosal present in these flu shots?

This study, now almost 20 years old, is not a leap into autism but from thimerosal to hep b shots to asthma and then I would venture autism is in there, too. The last sentence is a chillingly well plotted prediction.

Dermatol Clin. 1990 Jan;8(1):161-4.LinksReactions to thimerosal in hepatitis B vaccines.
Rietschel RL, Adams RM.
Department of Dermatology, Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Hypersensitivity to thimerosal in vaccines has been reported to induce persistent local reactions, urticarial and generalized exanthematic eruptions, and, in the case of the hepatitis B vaccine, urticaria with asthma. The authors describe two cases of extensive reactions, one in a patient who did not form antibodies to the principal vaccine antigen. Although not all thimerosal-sensitive patients develop adverse reactions to vaccines containing this material, there is a potential risk, and the reactions can be very long lasting.


Ben: firstly yes, most people are more likely to agree with studies that support their point of view.

(This is why it is often interesting to read a critics' opinion; generally if anyone can find the flaws in a study, they can.)

What this study is relevant to however is the risk benefit ratio of having a particular vaccine.

As I hope you agree ( putting aside autism for the moment); all shots carry the risk of potential side effects?

Given that, what benefits are obtained by giving that particular shot,and does that outweigh the risks?

I believe that historically, the 1970's swine flu shot ended up causing more deaths than it saved.Risk benefit analysis meant it should not be given.

Given that the flu shot is a mandated vaccine in New Jersey,and is regularly injected into pregnant women, it would be useful to know what degree of benefit the shot provides.

I agree that the severity of asthma is an obvious variable that needs to be taken into account.It will be interesting to read the original study, to see how/if that was done.

If that was done effectively, one possible hypothesis is that the flu shot is not effective.

Another is that some reaction to the flu shot in fact increases a childs' chance of having more severe flu.

Both hypothesis would appear to have at least face validity.

And I agree it would be interesting to see how the CDC, and in particular those in charge of adding the flu shot to the required schedule in New Jersey, relate to this.


Jack, maybe you are right that it was unfair top bring up autism in the first place. But some of your fellow posters have vigorously defended the idea that it is indeed appropriate. As far as the p-values are concerned, you have made a common mistake about what p-values mean. They are a measure of how statistically similar two data sets are. Low p-values mean that the data sets are different. Assuming that all variables are controlled for, you can typically attribute this difference to whatever your experimental variable was. However, if there are unknown variables that are not controlled for, your low p-values may be due to something else. In this experiment, one would specially have to evaluate the frequency of asthmatics being hospitalized with and without the flu shot. From the press release it sounds like these issues were indeed addressed but without reading the paper itself it is hard to know for sure.

Garbo, again, I can't say that you are right or wrong about those papers being related to Autism, the truth is that biology is so complex that even though what you are saying sounds reasonable on a certain level, the odds are the the bigger picture is much more complicated and that you cannot simply suppose that those two pathological issues are related.

Also, I do agree that this paper sounds troubling. However, there seems to be some confirmation bias going on here. Had this paper come to the opposite conclusion, I am willing to bet that the commentators on this site would be far more critical.


Here is another one, for Ben, that has absolutely nothing to with autism. Whatsoever. Although it may have something to do with neuronal degeneration, glial proliferation and such. In broilers. And we know what happens in broilers bears no relation whatsoever to humans. I'll post it here anyway. Just in case.

Vet Pathol. 2008 Nov;45(6):928-33.

Pathologic and immunohistochemical studies of Newcastle disease (ND) in broiler chickens vaccinated with ND: severe nonpurulent encephalitis and necrotizing pancreatitis.

Nakamura K, Ohtsu N, Nakamura T, Yamamoto Y, Yamada M, Mase M, Imai K. National Institute of Animal Health, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. [email protected]

Twenty-five 22- to 46-day-old broilers with Newcastle disease (ND) were investigated pathologically and immunohistochemically in order to evaluate the mechanism of ND outbreak in vaccinated broilers. The broilers were vaccinated with ND live vaccine via drinking water. Clinical signs were neurologic and respiratory in nature. Macroscopically, bursal atrophy, white spots on the pancreas, and discoloration and enlargement of kidneys and spleen were observed in the broilers. Histologically, perivascular cuffing, neuronal degeneration and necrosis, and glial proliferation were present in the cerebrum, cerebellum, and medulla oblongata. There was extensive rarefaction and malacia in the parenchyma of severely affected brains. There were extensive degeneration, necrosis, and depletion of acinar cells in the pancreas. There was proliferation of macrophages in the lungs with congestion, tubulointerstitial nephritis, hepatocytic necrosis with thrombi in the sinusoids, and lymphocytic depletion in the cloacal bursa. Immunohistochemically, ND virus antigens were detected in the lesions. ND virus isolated from the present cases did not cause encephalitis or pancreatitis in specific-pathogen-free chickens, but it induced mortality with hepatocytic sinusoidal thrombi, splenic necrosis, lymphoid necrosis and depletion, and conjunctival hemorrhage. Severe nonpurulent encephalitis with extensive rarefaction and malacia, and necrotizing pancreatitis in the present case may suggest a close possibly causal relation with vaccination. PMID: 18984798


garbo, that is a fascinating paper, but I still think it is a strong leap of faith to say that study has relevant conclusions for autism. At best it indicates an interesting potential avenue for further research


As to suggesting another theory, I'd say this, on the surface sounds like good science.

But in the case the other theory was essentially that it was chance. The other theory was..well maybe those kids that got vaccinated happened to by chance be the sicker one.

But the study gives a p-value of 0.006, virtually ruling out the role of chance in their results. So, a more appropriate headline would read, "0.4% chance this study is load of crap and everything is fine with vaccinating asthmatics"



I don't understand why you felt the need to make the point you made. Not one place in Kent's write-up or in the comments preceeding yours was autism mentioned (other than the title of Jenny's book). You made the first mention of correlation.

We do have concerns about how vaccines have led to widespread immune system dysregulation in the current generation of children and the role vaccines and other toxins have placed in the process. This study speaks directly to that and that's why it was posted here I assume.


Here's another study from the Mayo Clinic that has nothing to do with autism. Turns out, people with different genes react differently to rubella vaccination. Who knew?!?

Influence of host genetic variation on rubella-specific T cell cytokine responses following rubella vaccination
The variability of immune response modulated by immune response gene polymorphisms is a significant factor in the protective effect of vaccines. We studied the association between cellular (cytokine) immunity and HLA genes among 738 schoolchildren (396 males and 342 females) between the ages of 11 and 19 years, who received two doses of rubella vaccine (Merck). Cytokine secretion levels in response to rubella virus stimulation were determined in PBMC cultures by ELISA. Cell supernatants were assayed for Th1 (IFN-γ, IL-2, and IL-12p40), Th2 (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10), and innate/proinflammatory (TNF-α, GM-CSF, and IL-6) cytokines. We found a strong association between multiple alleles of the HLA-DQA1 (global p-value 0.022) and HLA-DQB1 (global p-value 0.007) loci and variations in rubella-specific IL-2 cytokine secretion. Additionally, the relationships between alleles of the HLA-A (global p-value 0.058), HLA-B (global p-value 0.035), and HLA-C (global p-value 0.023) loci and TNF-α secretion suggest the importance of HLA class I molecules in innate/inflammatory immune response. Better characterization of these genetic profiles could help to predict immune responses at the individual and population level, provide data on mechanisms of immune response development, and further inform vaccine development and vaccination policies.


I think these thoracic folks are really onto something. Here's another study presented at their conference that has absolutely NOTHING to do with autism, if by "nothing" you mean "a whole lot":

Environmental Exposures May Damage DNA in as Few as Three Days
"Recently, changes in gene programming due to a chemical transformation called methylation have been found in the blood and tissues of lung cancer patients," said investigator Andrea Baccarelli, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of applied biotechnology at the University of Milan. "We aimed at investigating whether exposure to particulate matter induced changes in DNA methylation in blood from healthy subjects who were exposed to high levels of particulate matter in a foundry facility."

Researchers enrolled 63 healthy subjects who worked in a foundry near Milan, Italy. Blood DNA samples were collected on the morning of the first day of the work week, and again after three days of work. Comparing these samples revealed that significant changes had occurred in four genes associated with tumor suppression.

"The changes were detectable after only three days of exposure to particulate matter, indicating that environmental factors need little time to cause gene reprogramming which is potentially associated with disease outcomes," Dr. Baccarelli said.

"As several of the effects of particulate matter in foundries are similar to those found after exposure to ambient air pollution, our results open new hypotheses about how air pollutants modify human health," he added. "The changes in DNA methylation we observed are reversible and some of them are currently being used as targets of cancer drugs."

Dr. Baccarelli said the study results indicate that early interventions might be designed which would reverse gene programming to normal levels, reducing the health risks of exposure.

HMMM...let's see...methylation...where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, DAN conference, 2005. Environmental exposures like mercury that's in flu shots damages the methylation cycle causing cascading health effects. HMMM...what else?...oh yea, that part about it being REVERSIBLE. Like, "Autism is REVERSIBLE."

Here's the researcher's take-away:
"We need to evaluate how the changes in gene reprogramming we observed are related to cancer risk," he said. "Down the road, it will be particularly important not only to show that these changes are associated with increased risk of cancer or other environmentally-induced diseases, but that, if we were able to prevent or revert them, these risks could be eliminated."

Substitute "Autism" for "Cancer". Let's run the same test on kids before and after vaccination and just see what comes up. Heavy metals and other air particulate matter causes genetic changes when breathed in. What happens when those heavy metals like aluminum and mercury are injected?

John Stone

It's the culture of denial Ben. Even confronted with evidence that the vaccine makes people iller rather than protect them they start to engage in slippery arguments. It may be association not causation - who knows - but faced with evidence for medical caution they prevaricate.

This was what gave the game away over the treatment of Andrew Wakefield - rather than showing concern for the unfortunate children they just got ultra-aggressive (withdrew single vaccines within weeks) and generally played any dirty trick they could think of - 'first do harm' seems to be the motto.

You cannot imagine how fed up with double talk. The press release - should there be any doubt - is utterly sick making:

News Release
FOR RELEASE MAY 19, 2009 at 1:30 p.m. PDT
Keely Savoie or Brian Kell
[email protected] or [email protected]
ATS Office: 212-315-8620 or 212-315-6442 (until May 13)
Cell phones: 917-860-5814 (KS) or 516-305-9251 (BK)
ATS Press Room: 619-525-6323, 619-525-6324 or 619-525-6325 (May 15 to 20)
Mini-Symposium time: May 19: 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Presentation time: May 19: 3:20 p.m.
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Room 3 (Upper Level)
Flu Shot Not Effective in Preventing Flu-Related Hospitalizations in Asthmatic Children
ATS 2009, SAN DIEGO— The inactivated flu vaccine does not appear to be effective in preventing
influenza-related hospitalizations in children, especially the ones with asthma. In fact, children who get
the flu vaccine are more at risk for hospitalization than their peers who do not get the vaccine, according
to new research that will be presented on Tuesday, May 19, at the 105th International Conference of the
American Thoracic Society in San Diego.
Flu vaccine (trivalent inactivated flu vaccine—TIV) has unknown effects on asthmatics.
“The concerns that vaccination maybe associated with asthma exacerbations have been disproved
with multiple studies in the past, but the vaccine’s effectiveness has not been well-established,” said Avni
Joshi, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. “This study was aimed at evaluating the effectiveness
of the TIV in children overall, as well as the children with asthma, to prevent influenza-related
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy
of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend annual influenza vaccination for all children aged six months to 18 years.
- 2 -
The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (3rd revision) also recommends annual flu
vaccination of asthmatic children older than six months.
In order to determine whether the vaccine was effective in reducing the number of
hospitalizations that all children, and especially the ones with asthma, faced over eight consecutive flu
seasons, the researchers conducted a cohort study of 263 children who were evaluated at the Mayo Clinic
in Minnesota from six months to 18 years of age, each of whom had had laboratory-confirmed influenza
between 1996 to 2006. The investigators determined who had and had not received the flu vaccine, their
asthma status and who did and did not require hospitalization. Records were reviewed for each subject
with influenza-related illness for flu vaccination preceding the illness and hospitalization during that
They found that children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of
hospitalization, as compared to children who had not received the vaccine. In asthmatic children, there
was a significantly higher risk of hospitalization in subjects who received the TIV, as compared to those
who did not (p= 0.006). But no other measured factors—such as insurance plans or severity of asthma—
appeared to affect risk of hospitalization.
“While these findings do raise questions about the efficacy of the vaccine, they do not in fact
implicate it as a cause of hospitalizations,” said Dr. Joshi. “More studies are needed to assess not only the
immunogenicity, but also the efficacy of different influenza vaccines in asthmatic subjects.”
Session # C94: “Viral Infections in Childhood Respiratory Disease”
Abstract # 561: “Flu Vaccination in Asthmatics: Does It Work?”
Close Window
ATS 2009 · San Diego
International Conference
Abstract Number: 561
Contact/Presenting Author: Avni Y. Joshi
Department/Institution: Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic
Address: 200, First St. SW
City/State/Zip/Country: Rochester, MN, 55905
Phone: 01-507-284-2511 Fax: 01-507-284-0902 E-mail: [email protected]
ATS member: No Student or in training: Yes
Funding Source: None.
Abstract Category: 14.03 - Pediatric Asthma
Presentation format: Either Poster or Oral
Preview Disclosure
Travel Award: Yes
Publication of email address: Yes, [email protected]
I confirm that all authors listed on this abstract have knowledge of the abstract submission:
Title: Flu Vaccination in Asthmatics: Does It Work?
A. Y. Joshi, MD1, V. N. Iyer, MD,MPH1, M. F. Hartz, MD1, G. W. Volcheck, MD,Ph.D1, A. M. Patel,
MD1 and J. T. Li, MD,Ph.D1. 1Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN.
INTRODUCTION: Influenza is known to be associated with asthma exacerbation but the
effectiveness of the trivalent inactivated flu vaccine (TIV) in asthmatics is unknown.
METHODS: We conducted a cohort study of all pediatric subjects( 6 months to 18 years age)
who were evaluated at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA who had laboratory confirmed influenza
during each flu season from 1999-2006 to evaluate the efficacy of TIV. A case control analysis
was performed with the cases and the controls being the subjects with asthma who did and did not
required hospitalization with the influenza illness respectively.
There were 236 subjects with laboratory confirmed influenza from 1996-2006.
In assessing the effectiveness of the TIV for preventing hospitalization with influenza in all
subjects, there was an overall trend towards higher rates of hospitalization in subjects who got the
TIV as compared to the ones who did not get the TIV( OR:2.97, CI: 1.3,6.7).Using Cochran-Mantel-
Haenszel (CMH) test for Asthma status stratification, there was a significant association between
hospitalization in asthmatic subjects and TIV (P=0.006). (1 of 2) [5/11/2009 1:43:56 PM]
In the asthmatic subset:
There was no association between ER visit and receiving the TIV ,severity of asthma and the risk
of hospitalization or the hospital length of stay and receiving the TIV.
In assessing access to medical care, there was no association between hospitalizations and
health care insurance plans (Odds ratio:0.3, P= 0.13)
1) TIV did not provide any protection against hospitalization in pediatric subjects' esp. children with
asthma. On the contrary, we found a 3- fold increased risk of hospitalization in subjects who did
get the TIV vaccine.This may be a reflection not only of the vaccine effectiveness but also the
population of children who are more likely to get the vaccine.
2) More studies are needed to assess not only the immunogenicity but also efficacy of different
influenza vaccines in asthmatic subjects. (2 of 2) [5/11/2009 1:43:56 PM]


Maybe my language was too strong. It is possible that Autism is tangentially related to this study, but the fact remains that this study was not designed to address Autism and thus trying to infer any implications about Autism is very shaky ground. If you think that this study has implications for autism, suggest a followup study.

I don't see how any of the points I made have anything to do with my knowledge of autism one way or another. I was merely pointing out the limitations of this study. Also, it is true that scientists are cautioning people that the results of this study may be due uncontrolled variables in the test population. This is what good scientists do. It does not mean that this is the conclusion of the study. This is by far not the case. IT is simply proper science to point out alternate hypotheses that could have led to your result, especially when your result has controversial implications.

I will agree however, that the byline on that article is misleading and the actual quotes by the experts are more cautious.

For Ben, who is clueless about autism

It is my pet peeve that there are a number of individuals who know NOTHING about autism and yet continue to come to this site and say things like: "I am not going to judge this study until I see it but I have to point out
1) that this has nothing to do with autism."

Really? Do you even know what autism is? I mean the kind that is a neuro-immune disorder and has nothing to do with Kanner's definition of autism? Do you know the influenza virus targets the mitochondria and will plunge people with a predisposition to mito issues into autism? Do you know that every vaccine injured kid today with "autism" has a mito problem and needs to be on a mito cocktail.

This has nothing to do with autism, my foot. Apparently "autism" has nothing to do with you.


Ben says this has nothing to do with autism. I believe it does, considering the number of children on the spectrum who have asthma.


Don't be fooled by the insurance companies' motives. They make a margin off the total healthcare bill. If healthcare costs more for everyone, they gain. It is to their advantage for people to overall need more services (like vaccines).


from the two links that Sue posted, the first one reports:
"But no other measured factors—such as insurance plans or severity of asthma—appeared to affect risk of hospitalization."

then in the second article, on, it is repeated over and over that the results of the study should be interpreted as those children needed more hospitalisation because they PROBABLY had severe asthma to begin with.

Confused. and wondering who finances ???


So, their conculsion is that maybe the asthmatic kids destined to be hospitilized were more likely to be vaccinated because they might have been sicklier to begin with.

Our theory might be that kids with asthma already have a heightened Th2 response, further heightened by vaccination, which often generates only a Th2 response, when in fact for some viral challenges a Th1 response is really what is required to clear infection and is being actively suppressed by the Th2 response.

Now, remind me again who the scientist are in this debate. Again, I think we are.


Here is a link to the abstract.

A little more official looking when you hand it to the ped.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

It should come as no surpise that flu vaccines result in worse health. We know that flu vaccines often contain mercury. We know that mercury in quantities far smaller than those found in flu vaccines causes derangement of the immune system. How can anyone expect to stay healthy after a mercury laden flu vaccine.? No one- that is absolutely no one, can be in good health after a mercury laden flu vaccine. They are a sitting duck for the next virus or bacteria and heaven help them if they encounter one for which antibiotics are ineffective. Alas, mercury does not cause effects instantly as do many poisons. Its effects may show after a week or two and last for some time. Thus, many people miss the connection to a later illness. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon to meet a person who says " I never take flu vaccines because every time I took them I got the flu. Doctors- listen up !


A few more points come to mind

1) While this study does indicate that the flu vaccine did not work in these children, it does not indicate that the flu vaccine actually caused them to get the flu. While that may be possible, this study does not directly address this question and a different study would be needed to do so.

2) Isn't this the sort of research that this website advocates? Why the snarky tone? You guys should be happy that this study happened and be encouraging follow up studies

3) I wonder if this study will receive the same scrutiny as studies that contradict the opinions of this website. The author of this entry directly referred to the results of this study as facts. That is stronger language than even the authors of the study use. I have never read anyone on this site describe as facts the results of studies that contradict the opinions of this website.


I am not going to judge this study until I see it but I have to point out
1) that this has nothing to do with autism.
2) Let's actually wait to see what the response to this research is before we decide what the medical community will do to it.

Sargent L. Goodchild, Jr

Thank goodness for the internet. This story will get out and sway peoples opinion about the CDC, ACIP & the AAP. I am sure that the logical conclusion won't be that they are anti-science rather they are simply profiteering off children.

Sargent L. Goodchild, Jr.
Exec. Director
Active Healing, Inc.


And I meant to add that I'd like to print this study out and go cram it down the throat of our EX-ped. who basically told us the boys would die of flu because they had ashtma and we were refusing the vaccine.

Actually, maybe I really well mail it to him with a nice letter explaining how fortunate we were to pass on it.


There is recognized precedent for this type of effect. The reason there is currently no vaccine for RSV (which is the leading cause of hospitalization for the under 2 set) is because when they tested a vaccine back in the 70s the kids who did get RSV were very severely ill and required a higher rate of hospitalization and three died.

Some infections are exacerbated by the immune response. Since swine flu is causing significant illness in a healthy strong population it would be wise to suspect that is the case and think twice about how a vaccine might effect that. But, alas, nobody will.

Sue M.

I should have looked for myself first :)

Here's the link:

Upon googling, I also noted that the study was reported about here:

"The 'experts' explained it away with:

"Link likely due to other health problems in children most recommended for vaccination"...

I feel so much better now.


That study seems to back up Dr. Kartzinel's theory that vaccines are causing immune system dysfunction in some children. (Or 'VIIDS' as Jenny called it :), in their book Healing and Preventing Autism.)

I wonder if the ACIP, AAP, and CDC will still tell parents that the 'Benefits outweigh the risks' ???? This study certainly suggests otherwise.

Most insurance companies are willing to pay for vaccines because they believe that the vaccine is cheaper than treating the disease itself. Maybe this study could be used to inact a change in policy. I don't think the insurance companies would want to pay for a vaccine that leads to hospitalization (i.e. a more expensive treatment than rest at home and maybe a visit to the general practioner).

Thanks for sharing this with us!

John Stone

And I wonder what the figures are for adults?

Sue M.

Is there a link to the story/study?

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