May 22, 2018
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Swine flu vaccine raises concern

Donna Grethen | BDN
Donna Grethen | BDN
This artwork by Donna Grethen relates to H1N1 swine flu.
By Laurie Wolfrum, Special to the BDN

I have many concerns about the swine flu vaccine that we have been hearing so much about in the media. Parents and the public are not being given balanced information. The swine flu vaccine is not being adequately tested. It is being fast-tracked and not subject to the usual Food and Drug Administration standards required of most vaccines.

Many doses of the swine flu vaccine will contain thimerosal, a mercury-containing organic compound that is 50 times more toxic than mercury itself. Mercury is a known neurotoxin and does not belong in our vaccines.

Squalene, an oil in water adjuvant that increases the immune response and reduces the amount of vaccine required per dose, will be another component included in many of the swine flu vaccines. The use of squalene type vaccine adjuvants have been proposed as one of the causes for sickness encountered by Gulf War soldiers. Squalene is not normally licensed in the U.S., but was able to be used due to the swine flu having the status of a “Public Health Emergency.”

The legal ability for the FDA to approve unlicensed vaccines and drugs whenever a national “public health emergency” has been declared was given to the FDA by Congress under an Emergency Use Authorization, or EUA, provision included in 2004 Project Bioshield. We need to take a lesson from the swine flu fiasco of the 1970s. More people died from the vaccine than from the disease. Do we really want to repeat this?

There is talk about giving children the swine flu vaccine in school during school hours. Will parents be notified of the vaccine risks and benefits before giving the immunizations? Will parents be supplied with the vaccine’s manufacture name and lot number? Will parents and teachers be informed how to monitor vaccinated chil-dren? Is the school prepared to handle adverse reactions?

Are parents aware that no one will be held liable in the event their child has an adverse reaction? Not the schools. Not the person administering the shot. On Sept. 1, Gov. John Baldacci signed a Proclamation of Civil Emergency Due to a Highly Infectious Agent. This protects school districts and other vaccination clinic partici-pants from liability. The proclamation also provides immunity from tort liability for approved health care workers who administer the flu vaccines.

As it stands, plans for a mid-October vaccination program are in place, and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Service Kathleen Sebelius named the first targeted injection group to include children, health care workers, pregnant women and adults with chronic illnesses. Consider providing the school with your vaccine in-structions to be placed in your child’s school health file as well as a copy to be carried by your child.

There are many reasons why a person should consider not getting the swine flu shot:

Children, pregnant women and people of any age with compromised immune systems are potentially at much higher risk for complications from dangerous vaccines than they are from a mild influenza virus.

Cases of swine flu in healthy children have been mild in nature, with little or no medical intervention required.

Many informed parents, given a choice, will surely opt for a mild case of the flu over the potential health risks of an inadequately tested vaccine that can potentially cause long-term devastation of your child’s health or worse.

For further information, please refer to swine flu articles available at,,,, and

Laurie Wolfrum of Camden is a mother who has researched vaccines for more than 10 years.

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