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Flu and You: FDA, CDC examining fever-related seizures after flu shots
January 21st, 2011
06:04 PM ET

Flu and You: FDA, CDC examining fever-related seizures after flu shots

From January 9 to 15, flu activity decreased and two flu-related deaths were reported in children.

The flu news this week is that the FDA and CDC are investigating an increase in reports of fever-related seizures following a child flu vaccination.

Fluzone is the only flu vaccine recommended for use for this season for infants and children 6 to 23 months old. An FDA press release warns that the data are preliminary and that the agency is  investigating whether there is an association between influenza vaccination and febrile seizures.

Approximately 4% of young children will have at least one febrile seizure in their lifetime usually between 6 months and 5 years, according to the FDA.

Parents and caregivers should contact their child’s health care provider if they have any questions or concerns.


soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. LaLa

    Generally: febrile seizures are harmless

    January 21, 2011 at 23:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jesus

      But if you're not a General, they are harmful.

      January 22, 2011 at 08:45 | Report abuse |
    • Swisstrader

      Febrile seizures are not harmless if you're the parent or child experiencing one. My son had more than his share of febrile seizures when he was younger and it is it scary as all hell to see your child look like he's going "lights out", with eyes rolling back into his head, arms flailing and what appears to be a lack of oxygen to the brain with shortness of breath. There are also countless incidents of kids with seizures falling off beds and really hurting themselves as a result of the seizures. My son was also always very distraught just before and after a seizure and as a parent, it's easily one of the more disquieting things to see your kid go through and not knowing when exactly the seizure will end. Terrifying.

      Now if that's your idea of harmless, you're either a sadist or have never experienced a child going through a seizure.

      January 22, 2011 at 10:17 | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      Just a question....the article is dated January 21st, yet the first sentence says "From January 9 though January 25th" It's only the 22nd, is this a typo?

      January 22, 2011 at 18:38 | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      How do you know LaLa?

      January 22, 2011 at 19:04 | Report abuse |
    • OnceANewParent

      Wish my wife and I had been told about night terrors. Man, that was a very scary thing to witness. It still freaks me out thing about my oldest setting up in bed, eyes wide open, screaming to the top of his lungs for no reason and not responding to any outside stimulous whatsoever! Has anyone every experienced this so-called common thing with their child?

      January 22, 2011 at 22:13 | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      I had a couple as a child. Other than it scaring the crap out of me when it happened, it didn't have any harmful side effects.

      January 23, 2011 at 02:28 | Report abuse |
    • Lucy

      @ OnceANewParent My daughter had night terrors.. it terrified us. I worked with adults with behavioral needs and autism and it scared me to death that something was wrong with my daughter (who was between 2 and 3 at the time. She had about four episodes and then nothing more. She just graduated high school with High Honors last year so ... I'd say no long term effects from Night Terrors, though she does occasionally get Sleep Paralysis.

      January 23, 2011 at 09:45 | Report abuse |
    • sj

      Personally know 4 people with contra effects of vaccinations and flu shots:
      1 – 4 month old died of "SIDS" the night of his vaccinations
      2- 9 month old – normal – within a week of his shots mom noticed no interaction anymore – autistic
      3 – 12 yr old – seizures and extreme muscle weakness and fatigue after shots – progressively got better throughout the year – after flu shot 1 year later back at square one
      4 – seizures for 15 yr old after shots = ongoing
      CDC recommends shots and says Thimerasol (mercury) preservative is fine in small doses – but when you are getting this many shots how much Thimerasol is there in them?
      Can anyone show me a study on thimerasol? CDC only says there is not enough evidence to support the causal association – is this because a study simply has not been done on the effects of thimerasol???

      January 24, 2011 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
    • ambot ah

      I agree with Swisstrader. I have the same experience.

      January 24, 2011 at 20:57 | Report abuse |
    • ambot ah

      Also, my brother has a really bad seizures every time he has fever when he was little and it was so bad that it affected his learning abilities. He was so smart in the beginning and then he suddenly slowed down.

      January 24, 2011 at 21:01 | Report abuse |
  2. Richard

    I'll give the anti-vaccine nuts something more to crow about, even though their mentor has turned out to be a fraud and criminal.

    January 22, 2011 at 03:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Myself63

      Why don't you prove it causes no harm to anyone to get injected with so much of that stuff as a baby and then every Winter for the rest of their lives, before you call people "nuts?"

      So many pharmaceutical drugs have been shown to be harmful; how do you know vaccines are harmless?

      Everyone has to make their own choice. That doesn't make you "nuts." It makes you a person who thinks for yourself, whether you get the flu shot or not.

      Personally, I believe in some of the childhood vaccines but not all of them, and I think the flu shot is unneccesary unless you are high-risk or caring for a high-risk person.

      January 22, 2011 at 05:21 | Report abuse |
    • johnp

      Rich. I am not in opposition to vacines.. Yet about three years ago I had my first flu vacine at age 54, and with in two days I slipped into what I look back on as a depression of sorts, my blood preasure would go so high I could hear my pulse in my ears, as it climbed a couple days too 200/160 for hours at a time. I was weak and felt like the lights were going out at times. The doctors I was seeing were treating me for the symptoms but refused to listin when I would point out the timing of the flu shot. I was even started on some "MILD" anti depresents which I now know what "tendencies of suicide " mean! I stopped them before a week was up, before I did the worst. Now for me I continued in prayer and my faith in Jesus while continuing with blood preasure meds. It took nearly two years till I felt recovered from it. It was two years later that I found a new doctor who said that there could have been something to the vacine (some people react) and advised that I may not want to have the flu vacine again. I just want to tell people this story because it can happen~ But it does not mean that vacines are a bad thing.

      January 22, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      I'm with the others that are replying. No anti-vaccine but do not give one of my sons vaccinations since he is allergic to some of the ingredients (chemicals) in the vaccines. My son's reactions were somewhat mild, but that doesn't mean to me that someone's experiences cannot be more severe. We're each individuals. But this is the research that will hopefully cause people to explore both sides of the vaccine debate: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-388051/Scientists-fear-MMR-link-autism.html

      January 22, 2011 at 18:34 | Report abuse |
  3. The_Mick

    The fact is, if you look at the number of people allegedly affected by vaccines vs the number of people who would have died if no vaccines were around, the vaccines win every time. People in 3rd world countries line up for days to get polio, etc. shots for their kids because they've seen firsthand what the alternative is. I was born in 1950 and was was vaccinated in the first few years of the first polio vaccinations, so I grew up with kids who had one leg slightly shorter than the other, etc. because of infantile polio suffered just a few years before the vaccine came out. Can you imagine how much their parents wished the vaccine -thimerosal and all- had been invented a few years earlier? And imagine the parents of the infants who didn't survive polio and other diseases now preventable by innoculation!

    January 22, 2011 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Not surprised

      Sadly, the polio vaccine is responsible for causing every case of polio after 1961. Jonas Salk, who developed the vaccine, admitted this. Vaccines can be very harmful. In dogs, vaccines are the leading cause of auto-immune diseases, cancer, and seizures. The one time I received the flu vaccine, I became extremely ill. That was 12 years ago. Have not had it again, and have not become sick. Friends who took the flu vaccine yearly got the flu yearly. After watching me not get sick, even after hanging around them, my friends did not get the flu vaccine this year. Guess what, they didn't get sick either. Vaccines have harmful adjuvants, including mercury and aluminum. The most important rule of medicine is "First, do no harm". Unfortunately, the practice of repeated vaccinations have caused tremendous harm in both humans and pets.

      January 22, 2011 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
    • Bob Brown

      Not Surprised wrote, "polio vaccine is responsible for causing every case of polio after 1961..."
      That turns out not to be the case. There was an outbreak caused by endemic transmission of the polio virus in the wile among Amish in the United States in 1979.

      Prior to the introduction of the two polio vaccines, there were an average of 20,000 cases of polio in the United States, and a high of 58,000 in 1952. In 1961, after the mass vaccinations of the 1950s, there were 161 total cases of polio in the United states. If you believe that every single one of those was vaccine-caused (and that's not been proven), then 19,839 people, on the average, were saved from polio that year. At least a similar number have been saved every year since then.

      The oral polio vaccine can, very rarely, cause vaccine-induced polio. However, use of the oral polio vaccine was discontinued in the United States in 2000.

      January 22, 2011 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
    • spring

      Sadly Bob, my child was born in 1994, before they stopped giving the oral polio vaccine. You explain to me why it would be a logical, smart decision to continue to trust that my child's doctor knows what is best for her.

      January 23, 2011 at 07:27 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Bob, "endemic transmission of polio virus" does not equal polio. Poliomyelitis is a set of very specific symptoms, just testing positive for the virus does not mean you have polio.

      January 24, 2011 at 09:36 | Report abuse |
  4. david lawson

    vacines do outway , but as someone with gbs, it's hard toconvince. 30 yrs later and i'm still trying to patch my life together. W/out any compensation or compasion . So many hidden scares are left by vacine injuries. I've lost .

    January 22, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ellen

    I am old enough to remember the times before vaccines, the loss of an only child of a friend to diphtheria, the belief that rheumatic fever was contagious. My rash was treated with diluted sulfonamides. If they had fed it to me instead my valves would most likely not been damaged. I remember a polio epidemic where total isolation was enforced. No school, no playing with neighbor kids, no going to town, shopping etc. Far fewer children were damaged by vaccines than died or were crippled prevaccination times. I am totally in favor of vaccinations for children.

    January 22, 2011 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sara

      Thank you Ellen for sharing your story. I am a mother of two young children and feel strongly that vaccines are safe and essential for public health. I am so sorry about your loss.

      January 22, 2011 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
  6. Lyn

    I normally don't put in my two cents on these sites, but I just wanted to say something. I've had seizures before, and they're scary. Keep in mind though the amount of seizures suffered by these children is a very small percentage of all of the children who were vaccinated. I am truly sorry for the ones that had worse reactions, but it was beneficial to the majority of the society.

    January 22, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Laura

    My three year old son received the FluMist vaccine and within 48 hours had a febrile seizure...Weeks later, he had another one out of the blue...Now, we are just waiting to see if he has anymore. It's been about 2 months since his second one. He had an EEG and thankfully, that came back normal. He had never had a seizure prior to this and has always been very healthy, so I am extremely irritated with the doctors telling me that there is probably some other reason for these seizures...Of course they won't admit the correlation between the vaccine and the seizures because they are the ones who advised me to give him the vaccine in the first place. I know this isn't a typical reaction, but clearly, it's happening to other healthy children and it definitely needs further investigation.

    January 22, 2011 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kristin

      Get used to people telling you it's a "temporal coincidence" not a "causal relationship". Also, friends, relatives and co-workers may give you "the look" that lets you know they think you're crazy and or stupid and or gullible for thinking there might be any connection between vaccines and side effects/bad reactions. If you choose not to participate in a full vaccination schedule you will also be accused by some of knowingly jeopardizing lives and being a parasite on society. After all, if you or a family member doesn't get vaccinated, you might contract a disease and pass it on to someone that is vaccinated and they might give it to their infant (too young for some vaccines) and their baby might die, so you'd be a murderer. The vaccine debate world is an ugly one.

      January 22, 2011 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Your child has been receiving vaccines pretty constantly if you are going by the recommendations. Every sickness your child has, has probably been around a vaccine because sickness is your bodies immune reaction to a disease and vaccines have adjuvants to boost immune response so the vaccine is more effective. Febrile seizures like this article says happen in 4% of the population, usually before the age of 5 and are usually associated with being sick (i.e. an immune response) and your child fits all those catagories.

      January 22, 2011 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
    • Health Teach

      And back in the winter of 1999 my 5 month old son had febrile seizures CAUSED by the flu. And too bad he couldn't be vaccinated prior to having the flu, (too young) because he got seriously ill fighting off that infection AND we had the seizures to deal with on top of that. And, the thing that irriated me the most about the whole situation is that he got it from another child whose parents are, in their words, "anit-vaccines" yet felt no need to prevent their little precious from interacting with other children at daycare and then later confessed that their child had a fever all weekend but since it "went a way with tylenol on Monday morning" they "hated to make him miss-out on a childhood oportunity to play."

      January 22, 2011 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      See Health Teach, that's the type of parents that I absolutely hate.

      Vaccines may have a minimal side effect, but the benefits of them far outweigh the negative potential side effects. And people tend to believe that only their children are affected, but they also affect those around them that also either had parents that chose not to vaccine their children, or those children that are too young to be vaccinated. So it increases the risks of those kids getting sick.

      January 23, 2011 at 02:35 | Report abuse |
    • Chrissy

      We had similar problems with our son with febrile seizures. He began having them right after the MMR shot back when they were given around 15 Months. He began to have them more frequently, acted lethargic most of the time instead of active like before, and my doctor back in 1994 said you couldn't prove it to him that febrile seizures didn't cause any damage. My son turned blue and lost oxygen on one round.

      I was relieved when my doctor got it approved to get his tonsils and adnoids taken out. It's called a T&A. It stopped most of them, and his health improved.

      Other than that, it's scary, EXPENSIVE to keep having, not great on the child, and I'd recommend the T&A too if the tonsils seem always inflamed and causing the fever spikes.

      January 23, 2011 at 13:23 | Report abuse |
    • jcm52

      So like Kristen said, get used to being told that it's likely to be pure coincidence. Because it is. I'd estimate there are over 10 million children between 6 months and 5 years. If 4% have 1 seizure during that age, that's about 100,000 having their first seizure in any given year. Of those 100,000, I'd expect at least 50K get a vaccine. That's 50K children getting a vaccine and having a seizure randomly in the same year. About 1/365 of those will happen on the same day. 1/365 will have the seizure the next day, etc. So 7/365 will have the seizure within a week. That's over 2000 children having a vaccine and by pure random chance having a seizure later that week. Your event makes you one of 2000 random events every single year. It's unfortunate that it happened, no question. But there's no reason to think the events are correlated without careful larger study.

      If you're looking for the risk of having a seizure and, say, waking up at 7:51 am, you'll be able to find lots of children who had a seizure and woke up at 7:51. Coincidence? Yes. This is why for a medical study you have to look at a set of children who get the vaccine and a set that don't get the vaccine and compare outcomes. It's only if there is a statistically significant difference that you can start to say one is correlated to the other. Simply having two rare events happen close together is not good enough. In a big enough population, there will be enough rare events to find two of them together.

      January 24, 2011 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
  8. pugowner

    I am sure this response will get lost in the expanding list of comments, but here goes: The flu vaccine can cause a fever in some children (about 1 in 20). Some children (about 1 in 20), especially between the ages of 6 months and 2 years, will have a seizure with a fever. This part of the story is not new. Parents who avoid having their child immunized because of the chance of a fever after the flu vaccine put their child at risk for getting sick with the flu, when they will almost certainly get a fever. Because the fever with influenza tends to be higher, longer, and associated with the child being sick, the fever that occurs with influenza is more likely to cause a seizure than the fever which might follow the vaccine. However, not every child will get influenza in any given year, while every child who gets the vaccine could potentially get a fever.

    January 22, 2011 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anony

      Vaccination and Immunization are not the same thing and they should not be used synonymously. I know a woman who has been repeatedly vaccinated for diseases, but her body *does not* build immunity in response to certain vaccines. (She is a military wife and every time they move from country to country, they check her for immunities and vaccinate her.) I have been vaccinated for many diseases, but I've never been tested for immunities. I guess it's assumed. . .

      January 22, 2011 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
  9. pugowner

    The estimate that 1 in 20 children may get a fever, and the estimate that 1 in 20 children are susceptible to febrile seizures, does not mean that 1 in 400 children who receive the flu vaccine have a febrile seizure. Children who have had febrile seizures typically have numerous episodes of fever that do not cause seizures.

    January 22, 2011 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Deb Grabowski

    Who promotes vaccinating your child...Big Pharma...for BIg Dollars. TAking your six month old to the doctor and getting 4 vaccinations at the same time! Come on, common sense has got to tell you that's not good. They have added so many vaccinations to the baby schedule, it is unreal. Do you really think fooling with a virgin immune system that much is good for your baby? Do you think clean water and healthy food might have something to do with the drop in disease? My daughter has never had a vaccination and she has never had an earache or the flu and rarely gets a cold. She is 23 now. I on the other hand struggled with mercury poisoning and suffered with bone disease along with my grade school friends after polio vaccination. 30 years of recovery. 30 years of compromised health. I have no respect for western medicine left. The economics of the situaion ensure that the vaccines will never be cleaned up. Do you know doctors receive checks from pharma firms for prescribing their drugs.

    January 22, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • spring

      I've had a very similar experience Deb. Including a healthy teenage child without vaccines.

      January 23, 2011 at 07:16 | Report abuse |
    • kmcg

      I am a public health professional, not big pharma (and trust me, I don't make that kind of money) and I push vaccines. Your child is lucky and protected by herd immunity.

      Can vaccines have side effects? yes. Have they saved a lot of people from death and disfigurement? yes... and thats way more important than a few people having side effects.

      January 23, 2011 at 11:03 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      KMCG, can you explain how herd immunity is protecting her when several of the vaccines on the childhood schedule do not prevent transmission?

      January 24, 2011 at 09:39 | Report abuse |
    • Kelcy, Colorado

      Herd immunity is protecting her because those around her have been vaccinated and they are not developing the diseases which keeps her from being exposed. However, should she travel outside this country to where these diseases are prevalent then she may well pick up one of them. Or should someone else also not immunized travel outside the country and bring the disease back with them and she comes in contact with that person or persons then she can develop the diseases. That occurred last year in one outbreak.

      Here in my state while our flu rate is low we have still had numerous hospitalizations. This flu season so far three young adults have died from the flu. One at least had no pre-existing conditions. It does not sound like he had received the flu vaccine. It is always your choice to get vaccinated or not. Just don`t complain afterwards if something happens to you or yours because you were not vaccinated.

      January 24, 2011 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Kelcy, you obviously don't know how the vaccines work. In inactivated vaccines, they do not prevent you from getting the disease, nor do they prevent you from spreading it to someone else. All they do is lessen the severity of the symptoms once you acquire the disease.

      So again, I ask – how does herd immunity work in the case of a disease that has an inactivated virus vaccine?

      January 25, 2011 at 12:18 | Report abuse |
  11. Tom

    As an NIH funded investigator and parent, I can say confidently that vaccines on the whole are essential to human health. However, they need to be studied more extensively in an attempt to identify genomic, biochemical, immunologic or other factors that may be useful in predicting who will have a negative or even catastrophic reaction. The polarization of these debates is sad to me because neither side is right and yet both sides get exclusive coverage in the media. Since we are beginning the era of personalized genomic medicine, we need to spend the money needed to identify predictive factors that could help prevent negative reactions. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic that this will happen. Instead I expect to read polarizing articles and comments for many years.

    January 22, 2011 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Laurie

      Thank you for this Tom; I am the mom of a 13 year old with Autism that we all believe was caused by her vaccines. And all I can say, is all of you who think we are crazy and that the vaccine reaction was a coincidence, is that it is a coincidence until it happens to you, and I hope it never does!

      January 23, 2011 at 02:04 | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    I believe that vaccines are the modern era's lottery system, each batch randomized with radioactive isotopes of varying half-lives to cause cancer, arthritis, and other ailments. There is no way under god's green sun I would allow the government to inject me with anything– this same government that views Americans with such utter contempt that it forces you through ionizing radiation chambers at airports and then tells you "it's less than the amount of radiation you'd receive from a flight", and purposely fails to differentiate "ionizing" radition vs. "non-ionizing" in that claim; the same government that sees healthcare as a money maker and a job maker.

    January 22, 2011 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Neurosurgeon

      I think you are right on the money Joe. This is also a way for population control.

      January 22, 2011 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
    • jcm52

      Neuro:

      You're right that this is a form of population control: the people who refuse vaccines are more likely to die (or have their children die). However, it's a very weak effect since by vaccinating lots of people around the Darwinianly disadvantaged, they are protected indirectly.

      So really to have good population control, we need these people to somehow find each other and live together in communities. Then we can let measles etc work its evolutionary magic.

      January 24, 2011 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
  13. Crispix

    Too bad there isn't a vaccine for ignorance.

    January 22, 2011 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      They still would not take it...

      January 22, 2011 at 23:00 | Report abuse |
  14. Neurosurgeon

    For all of the uneducated and deceived that have been spouting off here are the facts:

    Most vaccines contain mercury (as thimerosal), aluminum, lipopolysaccharide and/or squalene all which are known neurotoxins(toxic to the brain). These toxins cause chronic inflammation of the brain in everyone, not just a certain %. The excito-toxicity is caused by the brain releasing to toxic chemicals, glutamate and quinolinic acid, in response to the vaccine. Why would one inject oneself with these known toxins? Didn't the government promote smoking in the 50's? We know how that turned out.

    Conclusion:

    Ignorance is bliss. The ignorant should not spout off about subjects in which they have no credentials or expertise.

    January 22, 2011 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KDW

      So a quick internet search shows that there are 11 licensed vaccines in the US that contain thimerosal out of 60. Of those 11 there are 7 that have versions that do not contain thimerosal. So there are only 4 vaccines that you can receive that you will have to get with thimerosal and three of those vaccines are for the same illness. They are DTwP (1), Tetanus toxoid vaccine (3). Though you could take the DTaP vaccine in place of both of these. It covers all of the illnesses that DTwP cover, with the T being for tetanus and does not contain thimerosal. In conclusion you can get all your immunizations without taking a single one that contains thimerosal.
      http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/thi-table.htm

      January 23, 2011 at 01:04 | Report abuse |
    • spring

      I wish more people just had the access to the information, so that they could make informed educated decisions. It breaks my heart to watch family and friends almost eagerly bring their young children in for all of these vaccines. These children are the same kids who seem to almost always be sick. What goes on with medicine these days seems criminal to me. Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful for medical care when it's used appropriately. All of these drug ads, and forced vaccinations is what I find to be criminal.

      January 23, 2011 at 07:19 | Report abuse |
    • Unga Khan

      You should take your own advice. Doctors have years of training under their belts, and medical researchers often have even more training than the doctors. We are smarter than you.

      January 23, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
  15. Katie

    All people are unique. Parents – if you think your child had a reaction to a vaccine or any medication, you are probably right. You are the one who lives with and knows your child – never forget that. You may run into all sorts of people who won't listen to you, some of them might even get angry with you, but you are the one who knows what's going on. One of my sons had severe stomach pains that I felt was caused by a medication he was taking. The doctor kept saying there was no correlation, nothing in the literature that said that. We stopped the medication and bingo – no more stomach pain. Still, the doctor insisted it was a coincidence. I did a lot of research and found a study that reported stomach pains as a rare side effect of this medication. Just because it's rare doesn't mean it can't happen to you – and doesn't mean the doctor shouldn't believe you. Same thing with vaccines. There are side effects. You just don't know if you'll be the one that has them until it happens – and then you'll probably be told you're wrong. It's a sad fact that side effects are underreported. Perhaps some of these side effects aren't so rare as they would have you believe.

    January 22, 2011 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • spring

      I agree Katie. The side effects are vastly under reported. I know this, from working in the medical field.

      January 23, 2011 at 07:24 | Report abuse |
  16. MS Fighter

    Use your computers. Google is a great tool. Simply cut and paste....I would link them but CNN doesn't let me!

    From The Times July 13, 2009
    Swine flu vaccine rushed through safety checks

    From MSNBC
    Legal immunity set for swine flu vaccine makers
    Lessons of 1976 outbreak prompt early action to warn off lawsuits

    From LA Times
    Drug studies funded by industry are more likely to yield good news

    From The Daily Mail
    Experts admit swine flu jab 'may cause' deadly nerve disease

    From The Daily Mail
    Fears over mutating swine flu virus that could render vaccine useless

    Take some initiative. At least study before you role up your sleeve or better yet ask the doctor to see the flu vaccine insert that comes with the vial. After reading that you should be able to make the logical decision.

    January 22, 2011 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • spring

      Thank you MS fighter. There seems to be a stereo type for people who decide not to vaccinate. People who haven't even researched the topic at all, just assume we are crazy and stupid. It doesn't offend me, it just makes me sad for them, because I know they truly don't know all of the information.

      January 23, 2011 at 07:21 | Report abuse |
    • kmcg

      Those are all news reports... do you know how poorly the media presents scientific data? It's a joke! Find some actual evidence please.

      January 23, 2011 at 11:07 | Report abuse |
    • Unga Khan

      The fact that viral vaccines have a chance – an extremely small, literally 1 in a 1,000,000 chance – of causing Guillain-Barre is hardly news.

      January 23, 2011 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
  17. mimsey

    I am 72. I have had the flu shot ever since I had the flu in 1958 during which time I spent my hours writing my will and hoping I would last a few more hours. I haven't had the flu since or anything else. I'm not a health food freak nor an exercise compulsive. I just happen to be happy and well.

    January 23, 2011 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MS Fighter

      I am thankful that it worked for you however everyone is different

      From Daily Mail
      Grandmother dies from swine flu AFTER she has the jab

      "'What we don't understand is that mum had the vaccine in October, because she was in an at risk group."

      Carol goes on to explain how doctors assured her the vaccine would offer her mom bulletproof protection against the flu: "I had been ill at New Year, and asked the doctors whether I should keep away from mum, but they said the vaccine would protect her from flu."

      January 23, 2011 at 09:16 | Report abuse |
    • kmcg

      What a poor job on the doctors part. Flu Vaccines never cover every strain and some years different strains actually become more dominant than the strains in the vaccine! Lousy doctor.

      January 23, 2011 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
  18. kmcg

    I think the most important thing that this article tells us is that if there are legitimate trends that appear after something like a vaccine – it is studied! There may very well be a correlation or even a causation. So what does the FDA and CDC do? Investigate that. Hmmm sounds like responsible research. But all of you who think they just ignore your complaints even though they have ALREADY investigated them, sure, obviously this must be rare.

    Also, why doesn't anyone ever direct their anger at doctors? Medicine is still filled with uncertainties and doctors that don't want to listen to people reporting side effects are failing their patients and their profession and their community.

    January 23, 2011 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      I agree, that's definately the 'take away' message from this article- that everything is being taking care of by the smart people in charge.
      I suggest though looking a little deeper into the conduct of the FDA and the CDC, particularly the cozy relationship between the CDC and the pharmacutical industry. If you want more than just the calculated 'take away' message then you'll have to look beyond CNN.

      January 23, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse |
  19. David

    It would be great if someday they develop vaccines that EVERYONE can take, even the immune suppressed people. That way when I take the timie to research and make the informed decision not to vaccinate my child I don't have to hear other people accuse me of putting THEIR child at risk.

    January 23, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. MS Fighter

    I don't get that... How are they at risk? If they got the shot... Protected right? Or are they gonna back track and blame people who choose not to because they got suckered into some bunk science and got sick anyways. when that aluminum, squalene oil and thimerosal mixed with a live virus takes over their already compromised immune system.

    January 23, 2011 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Unga Khan

      A vaccine can provide essentially 100% protection against disease in an individual, but a vaccine will never provide 100% protection to the entire population that gets the vaccine. This is due to differences in individual's immune systems, as well as factors we don't understand (for example, women tend to respond better to vaccines than males). The seasonal flu vaccine reduces the chance of a hospitalization from the flu by 70-80% vs. unvaccinated individuals, so those at high risk for infection and high risk of complications (i.e. children) are statistically safer off by getting vaccinated.

      January 23, 2011 at 19:36 | Report abuse |
  21. Unga Khan

    The article doesn't mention that febrile seizures also can occur when a child gets the flu, and with much higher frequency than after vaccination. Young children are usually at very high risk for flu. The vaccine gives them a good measure of immunity, as well as often making the disease less severe (i.e., less chance for a febrile seizure) if they do still get infected.

    January 23, 2011 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MS Fighter

      This is not new news!
      -Hirtz DG, Nelson KB, Ellenberg J H, "Seizures following childhood immunizations", Pediatr 1983 Jan; 102(1):14-18
      or
      -Coplan J, "Seizures following immunizations," J Pediatr 1983 Sep;103(3):496
      What it does not mention is.
      -Wolf SM, Forsythe A, “Epilepsy and mental retardation following febrile seizures in childhood,” Acta Paediatr Scand 1989 Mar;78(2):291-295. Vaccines and Brain Swelling:
      I got more case studies...

      January 23, 2011 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
  22. Tee Jay

    While flu vaccines may be helpful, there are those, like me, who are high risk and recommended to take the shot, who cannot. I have asthma, severe respiratory allergies, and probable undiagnosed COPD, but the flu shot could kill me. Why? I am allergic to eggs, which are used in the manufacture of the flu vaccine. My point? You know your own body. Do your research before blindly taking medical advice from anyone. On 6 different occasions I have had to prevent the dr & nurse from giving me the flu shot because I hadn't had one yet. My records plainly say I am allergic to eggs, but they want to give it to me any way. Be your own best medical advocate. Research.

    January 23, 2011 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. MS Fighter

    The research is there for whoever wants it. KMCG these are for you.
    -Nedar P R, and Warren, R J, “Reported Neurological Disorders Following Live Measles Vaccine”, 1968, Ped, 41:997-1001.

    Landrigan, PJ, Whitte, J, “Neurologic Disorders Following Live Measles-virus Vaccination”, JAMA, Mar 26, 1973, v223(13):1459-1462

    -Bondarev, VN et al, “The Changes of the Nervous System in Children After Vaccination”, Pediatria, Jun 1969; 48:20-24

    -Froissart, M et al, “Acute Meningoencephalitis Immediately after an Influenza Vaccination”, Lille Med, Oct 1978, 23(8):548-551.

    January 23, 2011 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MS Fighter

      Mathias, R G, “Whooping Cough In Spite of Immunization”, Can J Pub Health, 1978 Mar/Apr; 69(2):130-132

      Sen S, et al, “Poliomyelitis in Vaccinated Children”, Indian Pediatr, May 1989, 26(5): 423-429.

      D. A. Geiera; P. G. Kingb; M. R. Geierc "Mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired oxidative-reduction activity, degeneration, and death in human neuronal and fetal cells induced by low-level exposure to thimerosal and other metal compounds."

      Shall i list more...

      January 23, 2011 at 20:53 | Report abuse |
  24. oh well

    I got one when I was 5 I was sick for 6 months I just think it is a big phony to get you killed and your son killed.

    January 24, 2011 at 02:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Ole Grandad

    Perhaps one day they will invent a common sense vaccine which is definitely needed for all those who voted for ObaManure.

    January 24, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Steffani - Alyssa's mom

    I reported this because my daughter recieved the FluZone shot and two weeks later started having seizures. She continued to have seizures for six months. Had to wear a helmet because she was have 50 drop attacks a day. Had to be hospitalized for stiches and numerous EEGs trying to figure out what the heck was going on. We had numerous doctors here totally confused and were on 3 different medications to control the seziures, beginning to talk about surgical options to get these things to settle down. We were told my daughter had something called Lennox Gasteaut Syndrome and that we would basically end up with a child who in 20 years still couldn't tie their shoes. Can you imagine this? You have a completely normal and healthy 2 year old and in the span of 2 months, they go from fine to long term prognosis – vegetable. Absolutly horrible. Then one day, approx 6 months after the onset, she just woke up and never had another seizure. I pray to god that no other family has to go through what my daughter and our family did. I just know it is related to this shot and I hope to god that they can link it. I'm just glad I filed my report. It really needs to be brought out into the public light that strange things like this do happen. All because of a flu shot.

    January 24, 2011 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Dick Butkis

    I once knew a family that had one of their kids given this flu shot and shortly after, about 1 month, he became a "WaterHead". Last I heard this poor child went bonkers, killed a couple of school aged children by smashing their heads like melons and had to be hospitalized.

    January 24, 2011 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Shannon Cole

    Until the birth of my niece 5 months ago I had no clue half of the vaccines she needed existed! Next thing I know I'm getting a list a mile long from my sister of recommended vaccines I had to receive just to be around her! The one I hadn't been aware of was the Whooping Cough Vaccine. My sister has this as an infant & it was horrific! TO me this was a modern day miracle. I wish we had it back when my sister was born. So of course I got whatever what recommended I get since I am with my niece about every other day. But a lot of doctors offices have no idea about half of these when you call to get them.

    Shannon Cole – Shannon's Pet-Sitting
    Compassionate, Professional, Better Business Bureau Accredited Pet Care.
    Serving Suburban Lake, Cook & Kane Counties in Illinois
    WEBSITE: http://www.shannonspetsitting.net
    BLOG: http://shannonspet-sittingtwilightbark.blogspot.com/
    EMAIL: shannonspetsitting@hotmail.com

    January 24, 2011 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa

      Shannon, the whooping cough vaccine doesn't prevent transmission. You can still get it, and you can still give it to your niece. It'd be nice if a lot of doctors knew how vaccines actually worked and told their patients the truth instead.

      January 24, 2011 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
  29. ieat

    why are healthy people so scared of the flu? If you're healthy, then you can fight the flu fine. Same for kids. If there is a baby in the house, keep the baby away from the sick one(s). I never understand why there is such a push for flu shots. I also drink reishi tea regularly to boost up my immune system and my last flu lasted 3 days.

    January 24, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mommyofthree

      Perfectly healthy people who contract the flu virus have died as a result of the illness.

      January 24, 2011 at 23:05 | Report abuse |
    • Olivias mom

      First of all to-ieat- clearly you dont have kids, or if you do they arent schoolage or your not a parent who has to rely on daycare while your working! you cannot keep your children away from sick people! its impossible unless you put them in a plastic bubble..next to steffani, i can completely empathize with you. my daughter who is now 2, received a fluzone shot in nov of 2009 and exactly 14 days later, which is the amount of time it takes for your body get the vaccine to actually protect you, she had her first febrile seizure..she had no other symptoms of any illness, just woke up in the middle of the night seizing..my daughter was perfectly healthy before this..she has now had 4 seizures since the shot..the last one landing her in the ICU,,we literally almost lost her,,from a febrile seizure! to those of you who say they are harmless and have no lasting effects,,well guess again! and to anyone who isnt aware of this, the government has a website for people who have suffered injury due to vaccines,,there is a compensation fund set up to help

      January 31, 2011 at 16:52 | Report abuse |
  30. Mommyofthree

    Look, every intelligent person knows that research can be skewed one way or another to fit someone's beliefs. It is best to do a double blind, impartial study to truly receive unbiased research. That being said. All three of my children have received their vaccinations, and none of them has ever had anything other than a mild fever within 24 hours of a vaccination. By the same token, none of my children has ever been seriously ill, and while they might catch a cold now and then, it occasionally causes an ear infection (WHICH IS NORMAL). The benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks in most cases. We have recently had news reports of outbreaks of diseases that have been virtually eradicated in this country because parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. Vaccination does not 100% guarantee protection from all illness, but as someone who has received a flu vaccine every year and only gotten the flu ONE TIME, (the year they miscalculated on a particular flu strain) I am a firm believer that I would rather risk the vaccine than the illness itself.

    January 24, 2011 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MS Fighter

      Good luck with that! Hope 15 years from now you don't end up with multiple sclerosis like my family has dealt with. I would take selenium regularly if i was you and your children to counter that mercury and aluminum..

      January 25, 2011 at 01:20 | Report abuse |
  31. Evan

    If vaccines are so bloody awesome, then why won't the researchers do an epidemiological study comparing vaccinated kids to unvaccinated kids. Not too many years ago HRT(hormone replacement therapy) was supposed to protect women from heart disease and cancer. Then they did the Nurses Health Study and found increased cancer and heart disease with those that took hormones. Could we identify a problem? I don't know. We certainly won't if we don't look.

    Also, everyone who says vaccines saved humanity please look at the Historical statistics

    January 25, 2011 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Evan

      Also, everyone who says vaccines saved humanity please look at the Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial TImes to 1970. Death Rate for selected causes 1900-1970. Page 15 on the PDF. How do you explain the near universal drop off of infectious disease deaths? Most of them had no vaccine created for them. Measles wasn't licensed until 1961 and not in widespread use until 1964 yet there was a tremendous drop in measles deaths prior this time. I will try to link the PDF in another reply but sometimes blogs will not allow links to other websites.

      January 25, 2011 at 17:50 | Report abuse |

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