Why I Didn't Get My Flu Shot

By Daniel Cobb DOM

I wrote this article because hardly a day went by this fall when I was not told several times on radio shows and on the nightly news how important it is that I get my flu shot. They told me that the flu season started early and had hit extra hard this year and had already killed some surprising number of children. I was treated to stories of the families of a child killed by the flu and also about flu vaccine shortages. In all this time I hadn't heard a single word about the possibility of complications from the flu shot. There was one time where a woman MD was interviewed and addressed the question "Should a pregnant woman get a flu shot ?" The three minute discussion that ensued could be summarized with "of course, because the flu shot is safe and effective".

The purpose of this article is to put a little balance into the discussion. I acknowledge that vaccines do produce antibodies in the blood, and that this can prevent a targeted illness from occurring. However, I want to point out that there is a downside as well as an upside to the flu shot and all such vaccines. You should know that even a successful vaccination by no means provides 100% protection. Sometimes a vaccine can directly give you the disease that it is intended to prevent (quality control problems). Sometimes a vaccine can make you much sicker than the disease that it was intended to prevent. The process of making vaccines is full of surprises as is the ingredient list that results. My goal is to present enough information to enable a more informed decision about the matter.

This article will be a compilation of several topics with short discussions for each.

Vaccines DIDN'T overcome dreaded diseases

One reason why the government wants its people to get vaccinated is because they are convinced that vaccines have turned many serious diseases into very rare occurrences. Diseases such as smallpox, diphtheria and polio are three that come to mind. The proponents believe that the few who suffer reactions to the vaccines are a small price to pay compared to the much larger numbers who might suffer and die if there were no vaccines.

When looking at the same diseases that are usually referred to as victories for vaccination, a pattern is often found - that disease rates were dropping very rapidly before vaccinations were introduced and continued to drop at approximately the same rate after the vaccines were introduced. The Australian Nurses Journal (June 1981) states "A careful study of the decline in disease will show that up to 90% of the so-called "killer diseases" had all but disappeared by the time we introduced immunization on a large scale during the late 1930's and early 1940's".

The opinion of most medical historians is that the reason for the decline in such diseases wasn't vaccines, nor was it antibiotics. The factors that correlate most strongly were water and sewer systems and the improved hygiene that goes along with them.

Vaccines complications can be very serious and even result in death.

If you go on the internet, and look for vaccine complications, you will find loads of articles that will convince you that vaccines have definitely caused lots of physical harm and are suspected of causing many times more. Topics include autism, cerebral hemorrhage, brain damage, SIDS, personality changes, chronic debilitating conditions, death, etc.

The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that every year approximately half a million DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus) shots are followed by reactions severe enough to contraindicate the administration of more pertussis vaccine. One in seven children should be turned away for further pertussis vaccine. In practice, though, this does not happen 1.

How often do complications occur ? The answer to this question depends upon who you ask. VAERS is the acronym for the government's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. It tracks the problems that were reported as being resulting from vaccines. You can look through their database at

http://www.medalerts.org/vaersdb/, or you can use any search engine looking for VAERS. The problem with this database is that is gives a glimpse of the problem, but does not give the whole picture. The government's own website indicates that there are significant inaccuracies built in. Underreporting is a presumed part of any voluntary system, indicating that the total number of adverse events from vaccines is probably much higher. The FDA's own estimate is that only 10% of adverse reactions are

reported 2. On the other hand, the causal relationship between the problems described and the vaccines are not thoroughly investigated, allowing for inclusion of problems that may have occurred in the absence of any vaccination. I suggest that you look through the relevant cases and come to your own conclusions.

Vaccines can cause the disease they are designed to prevent

The Washington Post September 24, 1976 reported that, Dr. Jonas Salk, creator of the killed-virus vaccine used throughout the 1950's, testified that the live-virus vaccine (used almost exclusively in the United States since the early 1960's) was "the principal if not sole cause" of all reported polio cases in the United States since 1961 3.

France initially rejected diphtheria vaccinations because of the disasters witnessed in other countries due to its use. But after German occupation, France was forced into submitting to the shots. By 1943, cases of diphtheria had soared to nearly 47,000. At the same time, in nearby Norway, which refused vaccinations, there were only 50 cases 4.

In New Mexico and many other states, vaccinations are NOT required to attend schools.

In about half the states, vaccinations are voluntary. Of course, the school will typically tell you that they are required. However, if you ask the right questions of the right people, you will find out that there is a New Mexico state form that outlines how to tell your school that you do not want your child to be vaccinated. Once the form is correctly filled out, and forwarded to the school by the state, no immunizations will be required for your child.

The form title is "Certificate of Religious/Conscientious Objection to Immunization". The form is available through the New Mexico Department of Health. The form will grant an exemption under any one of three different circumstances:

1. A physician attests that one or more immunizations would endanger the child.

2. A leader of a religious groups attests that the parent or parents are members in good standing and that the religious teachings include reliance on prayer alone for healing.

3. A parent or guardian whose religious beliefs held either individually or jointly with others do not permit the administration of vaccines.

Almost anyone with sincere objections to vaccines should be able to fit into one of these categories.

What about lawsuits for adverse reactions to vaccines ? Why aren't they in the news ?

In December of 2002, Dick Armey (R-Texas) put a last-minute provision into the homeland security bill that exempted Eli Lilly from lawsuits from

vaccines 5. Eli Lilly is a prominent vaccine manufacturer, and the producer of thimerosal. Thimerosal is a mercury compound. Because the evidence was mounting that thimerosal was tied to a wide array of vaccine complications, Eli Lilly was facing an avalanche of lawsuits that might have bankrupted the company. Representative Armey saw it as his duty to protect Eli Lilly from going out of business.

It is possible that Mr. Armey did something positive in preventing Eli Lilly from declaring bankruptcy. However, now Eli Lilly knows that they can probably overcome any large-scale liability for things they put into vaccines. Whatever restraint they may have had in the past about avoiding dangerous ingredients has now greatly diminished. If I was going to allow myself to be vaccinated, I would certainly make sure that the manufacturer of the vaccine wasn't Eli Lilly.

Thimerosal, because of its ties to vaccine complications has been virtually eliminated from new vaccine production in the US as a preservative, but trace amounts may still remain from the manufacturing process.

Recent update - Because of this and similar ill-advised hidden amendments to recent congressional bills, Thimerosal has been reborn. It's once again commonly found in vaccines. The best way to avoid Thimerosal, which is a preservative, is to insist upon single-use bottles of vaccine, which don't require nearly as much of a preservative.

Vaccines are NOT a reliable method of preventing disease.

After the US mandated pertussis vaccination in 1978, the incidence of the disease in the following eight years tripled. While cases of pertussis were increasingly seen seen among every age, the highest incidence was registered in infants less than one year old 6.

In 1989, the CDC reported the following: Among school-aged children, measles outbreaks have occurred in schools with vaccination levels greater than 98%. They have occurred in all parts of the country, including areas that had not reported measles for years. The CDC has even reported a measles outbreak in a documented 100% vaccinated population 7.

Because of low levels of pertussis cases, in 1975, Germany stopped requiring pertussis vaccinations, and the number of children getting this voluntary vaccination has since dropped to below 10%. What was the result of this change in policy ? The mortality rate has continued to drop 8.

Larry Altman, the NY Times’ medical writer, recently wrote an article that pointed out that of the 93 children who had died of the flu by the writing of his article this flu season, 60 of them had received their flu vaccines. This is roughly a ratio of 2 to 1, and seems to be a vote AGAINST getting the flu shot, however a more precise account of children vaccinated would have to be available. If half the children in the US had received a flu shot, then the flu shot would be implicated in CAUSING flu deaths in children. If two-thirds of the children in the US had received a flu shot, then the flu shot would be characterized as HAVING NO EFFECT in preventing flu deaths in children. If the portion of vaccinated children exceeded two-thirds, then the decrease in lives lost to the flu would have to be balanced against the increase in lives lost to the vaccine 9.

Vaccine complications are sometimes long-term and sometimes difficult to tie to the vaccine event.

Complications from vaccines don't always show up in a couple hours or days or even years. In some cases, problems and illnesses directly related to vaccines aren't tied to the vaccine for decades. Contamination is a major issue that can have effects over a much longer time-frame. Possible problems include:

Contamination from a wide variety of viral sources

Bacterial contamination - usual nanobacteria

Mycoplasma contamination

Cross-contamination of cell lines used in the culture of the vaccines

Typically this contamination is with very aggressive "immortal" cancer cells

These types of contaminants can cause a wide variety of hard-to-trace diseases including chronic fatigue, Gulf War Syndrome, fibomyalgia, arthritis, and cancer.

The best article that I have found on this topic is titled "What Is Coming Through That Needle ? The Problem of Pathogenic Vaccine Contamination" and was authored by Benjamin McRearden. This article can be found on-line at http://www.whale.to/a/needle.html. It is a must-read article for any scientifically-inclined person who is in the process of making up their own mind about vaccines. The following is taken from that article:

It has taken approximately 40 years for the scientific community to finally acknowledge that we have a serious problem as a result of the contamination of polio vaccines with simian virus 40 (SV40) in the late 1950's-early 1960's. There has been previous evidence of some human brain and other tumors containing this virus, but the medical community has been slow to acknowledge a definitive link between SV40 and cancer in humans. However, two independent research teams have recently found this virus present in 43% of cases of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Another study found it present in 36% of brain tumors, 16% of healthy blood cell samples....

There are other potentially serious objections to vaccines.

Health considerations are not the only issue here. There are religious and moral considerations also. Vaccines need to be cultured in living cells. Some cells that are used are monkey kidneys or chicken eggs. In the case of some vaccines, human fetal tissue is used. If you find using live human fetal tissue to be unacceptable, you might inquire into the production methods used for each vaccine before proceeding.

My Recommendations

1. If you choose to vaccinate yourself (and/or your children), make that decision an intelligent one. Read at least a few articles or books that are critical of vaccination to balance out the overwhelmingly favorable discussion that is usually presented in the mainstream media.

2. If you choose not to vaccinate, don't stop there. If you are going to choose NOT to protect yourself from infectious diseases by vaccination, then you SHOULD choose to protect yourself from infectious diseases in other ways.

My personal choice is to eat and live in as healthy a way as I can manage. This approach builds my immune system without the threat of serious side-effects.


1. Null, Gary, Vaccination, The Townsend Letter October 2003
2. Ibid.
3. Miller, Neil Z., Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective, New Atlantean Press, Santa Fe NM 2001
4. Ibid.
5. CBS Evening News Dec 12, 2002
6. Null, Gary, Vaccination, The Townsend Letter October 2003
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid.
9. Rappaport, Jon, www.nomorefakenews.com/ January 18, 2003