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Vaccine or flu – Sophie’s choice?

I received the following email yesterday.

It’s obviously a fairly standard chain warning of the type which many of us see far too many of every day, but I found it interesting as it’s a good example of how reports are often a mixture of truth and fallacies, rarely black and white.

Before I go to the email itself, I should point out that I am nowhere near being a doctor, having no chemical or medical knowledge whatsoever and any research I have done is limited purely to the power of Google and a bit of background reading. I also believe that the email below takes a far too simplistic view of a complicated issue. The decision on whether or not to get vaccinated should balance the very real risks involved in contracting the disease against any risks which might result from vaccination. As usual, your GP is going to be the best person to get advice from.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the email. I’ve added my own comments inline.

You are in my address book (no apologies for that) and this is a one time email with important information you may not know.
Today, 21st October, the swine flu vaccine will be rolled out in mass across the UK. Here is the declared ingredient list for the UK version of the vaccine, Pandermix.

You can view an official view of the ingredients online. The listing below seems to be broadly correct – ignoring the commentary on their consequences.


Adjuvent: Squalene 10.68mg (Linked to Guillane Barre (Gulf War) syndrome and illegal in the UK)

As far as I can see Squalene isn’t illegal in the UK. It’s been used in vaccines given to over 40 million people in Europe as of 2009. It has been linked to Guillane Barre syndrome in a single study (although even that only found an increased level of Squalene antibodies), but larger and better designed studies have found no such link.

Alpha-Tocopherol 11.86mg
Polysorbate 80 (Tween)4.86mg


Octoxinol 10 (this is a contraceptive)

It could well be, it also seems to be in face-cream and lots of other things too. I think it’s just an emulsifier.

Sodium Chloride
Disodium Phospate
Potassium dihydrogen Phospate
Potassium Chloride
Magnesium Chloride
Thiomersol (MERCURY) (strongly linked to autistim spectrum neurological disorders, and removed from all other vaccines in the UK since 2003)

Thiomersol has not been removed from all other vaccines in the UK since 2003 (as far as I can see). It’s being phased out of childhood vaccines but the World Health Organisation has concluded that there is no evidence of toxicity from thiomersal in vaccines. Yes, it does contain mercury, but it’s not just mercury. There’s also not very much there. Each dose contains 5 ?grams. That’s 0.000001 grams, about 0.002% of the dose.

Water for Injections


Neurodegenerative and Autoimmune Illness

There is much resistance in the scientific community to its use at this stage, not least as it has been rushed into production amidst accusations of carelessness if not downright negligence. Baxter International, one of the companies supplying the UK, are themselves currently the subject criminal charges after having distributed 72 kgs of swine flu vaccine tainted with Live H5N1 or Avian Flu.

There do seem to be concerns on the speed of the testing process. On the other hand, the argument is that is isn’t different in any material way from normal flu vaccines. Baxter did distribute contaminated vaccine earlier this year. I can’t find anything which says they are subject to criminal charges though. Also, Baxter manufacture Celvapan, one of the alternative vaccines. Pandemrix is made by GSK, so I don’t even know that Baxter are involved in Pandemrix distribution.

Currently, more than 60% of UK medical professionals have said they will not be taking it.

There was a poll which showed that, but that was for a variety of reasons. Many health professionals also don’t take the standard annual flu jabs.
It was also not 60% saying they wouldn’t take it: 29% said they would not choose to have the vaccine and 29% said they were unsure whether or not they would. 71.3% said they were “concerned that the vaccine has not yet been through sufficient trials to guarantee safety”. Half – 50.4% – said they “believe that swine flu is too mild to justify taking the vaccine”.

In Germany, chancellor Merkl last week announced that although the ordinary population will get a version similar to ours, the cabinet and other high ranking officials will get a very different one.

True – but your opinion of ‘very different’ may differ. She did announce that essential workers would receive the Celvapan vaccine, rather than Pandemrix. Celvapan apparently has fewer side-effects than Pandemrix as it contains an entire dead virus, as opposed to sections of the virus boosted by an Adjuvent which is contained within Pandemrix. The presence of the adjuvent stimulates a stronger response in the patient, hence the increased side-effects. Both vaccines are approved for use in the EU however and subsequently Chancellor Merkl has stated that she will also receive Pandemrix.

Incidentally, Celvapan is manufactured by Baxter (see above).

The government has granted companies supplying the vaccines, immunity from prosecution for any adverse reactions.
And people in those companies have said that they will not be taking the vaccine.

True? No idea. There are no references in the email and I can’t find any independent source for those statements.

The swine flu vaccine programme represents a gigantic financial opportunity for these companies.
In these times of financial hardship, is it perhaps an opportunity that could outweigh issues of safety and efficacy?

I’d say that an outbreak would represent more of a financial opportunity personally. I’m not quite sure how news reporting of dangerous vaccines causing lots of problems once used would help those companies either.

Before agreeing to an untested and potentially dangerous substance being put into your body, or those of your children, do some research.

Now, that bit I’d agree with. The general advice from medical professionals is in favour of vaccination for those in danger and people have been dying from the virus, but there are some valid points hidden within the one-sided view presented above. Incidentally, the standard flu shot has been shown to prevent influenza in about 70%-90% of healthy persons younger than age 65 years.

Know more about the issue? Able to identify sources for some of the claims I haven’t been able to track down? Please comment!


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