Two recent occurrences prompted today’s Best of. The first one was seeing my favorite grocery store begin their in-house flu shot advertising. It was only mid-August when I saw the sign. I thought it a bit early for their pharmacy to begin their flu shot campaign, but, like one doctor told me, “The flu virus knows no season; it doesn’t wait until winter to strike.” She’s right. Doctors and pharmacists who know that, and who don’t push the ineffective flu shots on their customers each year, get my respect.
Doctors, like the one who told my daughter last week to get every vaccine for every disease there is, do not get my respect. My daughter let her own opinion be known after she was told that, but Fiona didn’t get the respect she should’ve gotten. She said what she had to say in response but knew her knowledge and opinion would fall on deaf ears. That’s reason number 2 for sharing today’s post.
After a quick recount of the conversation she’d had with that doctor, Fiona and I looked at a list of vaccine ingredients. We talked about how she could cite information differently next time should the opportunity arise. Show the person the stats straight from a source they go to and will quickly defend – the CDC! We both know how hard some vaccine conversations can be, especially when the other person in vehemently pro-vaccine and works in the Science field, but Fiona feels confident that she can defend herself better, and the science, next time.
Since we are just at the beginning of what will likely be another flu shot advertising frenzy, it would be wise to read what’s in them. Here’s just a sampling:
Image: Vaccine ingredients; source CDC
If you have never looked at the individual ingredients of all of the liability-free vaccines that the US government state are safe and effective, follow this link to an appendix of the CDC’s Pink Book. Injecting animal and human diploid cells, to name just a few questionable items, sounds far too risky to me and Fiona. So do quite a few others ingredients, which I wrote about in today’s Best of, What’s In Your Flu Shot?
Years ago, this video made the rounds as the 2006 flu shot season got under way. As much as I loathe this particular shot and the problems it caused my son post-vaccination, I couldn’t help but laugh.
Fast forward to 2018, and that secret serum is changing. This year, we’re being told that some flu shots are now preservative-free, egg-free, and even antibiotic-free. FLUAD, and some other quadrivalent vaccines, wouldn’t be a great option for those with egg allergies. Since the process includes use of embroynated hens’ eggs, it’s probably why I’ve seen more talk of egg-free options this year. While reading up on that news, I continued down the vaccine rabbit hole to look at other flu vaccine package inserts. Now, I’ve known that some vaccines contained animal proteins before, but the ick factor went up the more I read about what else is in them.
I knew that bovine calf serum has been used in other vaccines, but I did not recognize the MDCK cell protein that was listed in the Flucelvax flu shot. So I did a quick search. What I discovered was that it’s a cell protein from canine kidneys. I had to do another search when I saw that the fall armyworm was listed on the Flublok package insert. An armyworm? What is that, and what’s it doing in the flu shot? The armyworm is related to moths, caterpillars and butterflies. I love butterflies, but I certainly never imagined they or other insect cells would be part of the vaccine process. One more ingredient made me pause – porcine gelatin. Where have I heard porcine before? I then remembered something about the Rotateq vaccine and how it had caused serious injury to pediatric patients a while ago. That vaccine was contaminated from porcine DNA cirocoviruses, one of which can be lethal to pigs. I was taken aback when I saw that the recently reinstated nasal flu shot, FluMist listed porcine gelatin. Porcine circoviruses and porcine gelatin may be two different things, but what a potential gamble the industry is taking by offering this vaccine what that ingredient to the pediatric population again.
As usual, I had more questions after all of that reading. The biggest question I had was where are the animal lovers?
I’ve questioned the Catholic Church and pro-lifers about vaccines derived from aborted fetal cells in the past but have yet to ask the local humane societies, the ASPCA, and PETA what they think about vaccines and what’s in them. In all the years I’ve read and kept up with vaccine news, I don’t think I’ve seen any of them say much about those questionable ingredients. By not speaking up, it makes me think that they’ve rolled over and are okay with the industry and our government using us as guinea pigs (which, by the way, is listed in the varicella vaccine package insert).
Vaccine ingredient information is out there. Getting that information is actually easy to access. No one is hiding any of it. So, why aren’t large groups that claim all lives matter – including our four-legged friends’ lives, up in arms?
All lives matter!
Unless we’re talking about vaccines.
It’s a double standard and a terribly sad one if you ask me.
This flu shot season I’m sure it’ll be booming business as usual as vaccine manufacturers push their preservative-free, antibiotic-free, and egg-free products. That’s good news for them. But what about the animal-based and derived ingredients? Bits and pieces of creatures great and small are being manipulated and later injected into humans in the name of health. Rabbit, cow, chicken, monkey, guinea pig, mouse, pig, armyworm, canines. It sounds like a Who’s Who from Old MacDonald’s farm and actually makes my stomach turn. I would think it would make animal lovers and defenders, and vegans’ tummies turn, too. But, I hear crickets on the subject. Unless they don’t know that Fido, Wilbur, and Mickey have a role in the vaccine process…
If my animal lover friends didn’t know, I’m sorry to be the one to inform you. But I’m not sorry for saying something about it. With how ridiculous the vaccine program’s recommendations and schedules have become, someone has to say it.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.