By Dr. Sherri Tenpenny
Oct. 8, 2003
The following article is an article in the Online Vaccine
Conference at Redflagsdaily.com. This important online conference on vaccines
will play a significant role in stimulating public discussion on this vital
public health issue. You can also view other essential articles on vaccines
at the Online Vaccine Conference.
"MedImmune, the manufacturer of FluMist, recently
announced that it signed an agreement that makes FluMist, the new intranasal
influenza vaccine, readily available to people as they shop at Wal-Mart,
the worldâ?Ts biggest retailer." 
As the physician in charge of a bustling integrative medical
clinic, questions about vaccines frequently arise. After reading about the
MedImmune-Walmart joint venture, I felt compelled to warn our patients and
our Internet subscribers of the potentially serious complications that may
come from direct and passive exposure to this new vaccine. I also wanted
to give a "heads up" to everyone regarding the onslaught of advertising
that is about to besiege them.
Intense Marketing Campaign Planned
Hundreds of TV and print advertisements have been designed to persuade everyone
into taking the FluMist plunge. The campaign will be the "most intense,
direct-to-consumer marketing campaign ever waged for a vaccine," costing
an estimated $25 million over the next 2.5 months . In addition, Wyeth,
MedImmuneâ?Ts partner, plans a three-year, $100 million campaign to
encourage use of the nasal flu vaccine among physicians. 
The television arm of the blitz campaign will focus on the
"inconveniences" that your family, friends and co-workers will
endure if you don't get the flu shot and subsequently contract the flu.
Print advertisements and magazine articles apparently will use scare tactics--similar
to those that were used while promoting the smallpox vaccine--which warned
of the high possibility of a "bioterror attack using the flu virus."
Apparently, the goal seems to center around frightening--or
inducing enough guilt--so that everyone would begin to demand the vaccine
as soon as it is available. And at nearly $70 a dose, this will be a financial
bonanza for MedImmune and Wyeth, who are expecting the vaccine to become
the blockbuster new drug that will push MedImmune's revenues to more than
$1 billion/year. 
However, there are many reasons for caution:
1. FluMist contains live (attenuated) influenza viruses
that replicate in the nasopharynx of the vaccine recipient. The
most common side effects include "cough, runny nose/nasal congestion,
irritability, headaches, chills, muscle aches and fever (over 100° F)."
These symptoms are nearly identical to those the flu vaccine is designed
to prevent. 
2. A cause for significant concern is the vaccine's most prevalent
side effects: "runny nose" and "nasal congestion." It
has been documented that the live viruses from the vaccine can be
shed (and potentially spread into the community) from recipient children
for up to 21 days,  and even longer from adults.  Viral shedding
also puts breastfeeding infants at risk if the mother has been given FluMist.
3. In addition to shedding via nasal secretions, the virus
can be dispersed through sneezing. What is the normal physiological response
when an irritant enters the nasal passages? A sneeze; sometimes a big sneeze;
sometimes several big sneezes. Therefore, the risk for shedding--and spreading--live
viruses throughout a school, church, workplace or store--especially one
which is administering the vaccine.
4. In the section of the FluMist package insert labeled "PRECAUTIONS,"
the manufacturer states the following warning: "FluMistÂ®
recipients should avoid close contact with immunocompromised individuals
for at least 21 days." The warning is specifically directed toward
those living in the same household with an immunocompromised person, but
the on-going release of live viruses throughout the community may be a significant
risk to everyone who has a weak, or weakened, immune system.
The number of immunocompromised people in the United States
It is estimated that at least 10 percent, or more than 28
million people have eczema. 
More than 8.5 million people have cancer. 
There are reported to be 850,000 individuals with diagnosed
and undiagnosed HIV infection or AIDS 
Based on 2001 data, there were 184,000 organ recipients
An even more extensive list of at-risk people includes the
untold millions on drugs called corticosteroids. Prednisone®, Medrol®,
and a variety of similar medications given to both adults and children.
These drugs are prescribed for dozens of conditions including asthma, allergies,
eczema, emphysema, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, herniated spinal
discs, acute muscular pain syndromes, and all types of rheumatoid and autoimmune
diseases. As much as 60 percent of the entire population could be considered
to be "chemically immunosuppressed." It is important to realize
that FluMist is CONTRAINDICATED for people who are immunocompromised. People
who receive FluMist and are living with an immunocompromised person put
their loved ones at risk.
Will this make stores that administer the vaccines--like Walmart
and the other pharmaceutical chain stores that have announced they will
carry FluMist --risky places to shop for large segments of the population?
What measures will be taken in these stores to ensure that the virus will
not become commingled with food? What hand washing policy is going to be
enforced in the stores for all Walmart employees and customers who have
received FluMist? These are reasonable questions that deserve answers.
The target market for FluMist is "healthy children and
adults, ages 5 to 49 years." Some believe that by vaccinating these
people, a type of "herd immunity" will occur that will protect
the very young and the elderly who are excluded from getting this vaccine.
However, it is these very "at-risk" populations who may suffer
the most from the flu by being exposed to people who are given FluMist.
According to information presented at the May 2003 National
Influenza Summit,  approximately 85 percent of Americans between the
ages of 20 and 50 go unvaccinated, and nearly 66 percent between the ages
of 50 and 64 do not receive the flu vaccine. Have there been "raging
epidemics" across the country due to lack of flu vaccinations? It appears
that the massive campaign to vaccinate everyone this year may be motivated,
in part, by economics.
The viruses suspected to be the most likely cause for the
flu this season were negligibly different from the strains used in last
yearâ?Ts flu vaccine. Therefore, the influenza vaccine produced for
the 2003-2004 season is identical in composition to the one used last year.
This marks only the second time that the same strains have been used during
two consecutive flu seasons.  Consider that antibodies from other viral
vaccines--such as MMR, polio and chickenpox vaccines--last at least three
years, and in some instances, up to 15 years. If the viruses used in the
vaccine are the same as last year, why is this yearâ?Ts vaccine even
An even greater concern about FluMist is the contents within
the vaccine. Each 0.5 ml of the formula contains 10 6.5-7.5 particles of
live, attenuated influenza virus. That means that between 10 million and
100 million viral particles will be forcefully injected into the nostrils
when administered. The viral strain was developed by serial passage through
"specific pathogen-free primary chick kidney cells" and then grown
in "specific pathogen-free eggs." That means that the culture
media was free of pathogens that were specifically tested for, but not a
culture that was necessarily "pathogen-free." The risk that the
vaccine may contain contaminant avian retroviruses still remains. In addition,
a stabilizing buffer containing potassium phosphate, sucrose (table sugar)
and nearly 0.5 mg of monosodium glutamate (MSG) is added to each dose. 
One of the most troubling concerns over the injection of this "chemical
soup" is the potential for the viruses to enter directly into the brain.
At the top of the nasal passages is a paper-thin bone called the cribriform
plate. The olfactory nerves pass through this bone and line the nasal passages,
carrying messenger molecules to the brain that are identified as "smells"
familiar to us. The olfactory tract has long been recognized as a direct
pathway to the brain. Intranasal injection of certain viruses has resulted
in a serious brain infection called encephalitis, presumably by direct infection
of the olfactory neurons that carried the viruses to the brain.  Time
will tell whether the live viruses in FluMist will become linked to cases
The pharmaceutical companies do not necessarily always do
a reasonable job of considering the "down side" when they are
pushing new drugs or new vaccines. FluMist has the potential for
causing the worst, most severe flu epidemic seen in years. Parents
tell their young children not to put things up their noses because they
might cause them harm. It would be wise to consider that advice for adults.
With all the risks involved, one should be extremely cautious about what
one allows to be sprayed in one's nose.
Forward courtesy of Peter Farley <email@example.com>
Web posted at: http://mercola..com/2003/oct/4/flumist_vaccine.htm
All information posted on this web site is
the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only.
It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor
can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer
of your choice for medical care and advice.