Posted: 10 November 2004
I wanted to alert everyone to what I personally feel is a public health regarding our town's Safeway. Beginning the week of November 7th and continuing well into January, the local Safeway pharmacy will be dispensing the FluMist nasal flu vaccine. This is NOT the same as the injection form of the flu vaccine.
The injectable form of this year's flu vaccine contains an inactivated virus and the individual receiving does not immediately become a flu virus carrier. The FluMist nasal vaccine contains the LIVE virus strains. According to the manufacturer, it is recommended only for "healthy persons between the ages of 5 and 49 years of age."
This product is squirted up the individual's nose. The person then immediately begins shedding the virus through respiration, sneezing and nasal discharge. The virus continues to be shed for upwards of three weeks in children, and even longer in adults. Viral shedding also puts breastfeeding infants and children at risk if their mothers have received FluMist. It puts the elderly at risk if their caregivers have received it.
During this "shedding time", individuals that receive FluMist are warned to stay away from immunocompromised people (hmmm, guess what people are often found in the pharmacy area??). This warning is specifically directed toward those living in the same household with an immunocompromised person, but the on-going release of the live viruses from the FluMist recipient throughout the community may be a significant risk to everyone who has a weakened immune system.
"Immunocompromised" includes those with eczema, cancer, HIV/AIDS, organ transplant recipients, and those on corticosteroids (medications given for asthma, allergies, eczema, emphysema, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, and all types of rheumatoid and autoimmune diseases.
The most common side-effects of FluMist are cough, runny nose/nasal congestion, irritability, headache, chills, muscle ache and fever over 100 degrees. These symptoms are nearly identical to those the FluMist vaccine is designed to prevent.
In talking with both the local and corporate headquarters, Safeway made no comment when questioned as to the health hazard to other shoppers in their store. I asked if they would be providing receptacles labeled "Hazardous Waste" for disposal of the tissues that individuals will be needing immediately after FluMist administration? Any warning that recently "misted" customers will be handling cart & basket handles, fruits, vegetables and other grocery items (no doubt, with tissues in hand)? What hand washing/sanitizing policy is going to be enforced in the store for their employees and customers who have received FluMist? Would signs be posted informing their customers that FluMist was being offered and that there would be "extra" flu viruses floating around their store? They would not respond to these questions.
We are not shopping at Safeway as long as they are offering FluMist in their stores, and have informed the Safeway store of this decision (both at corporate and local levels). Many of our friends are doing the same. No other store/pharmacy/clinic offers FluMist in the surrounding communities.
Deciding to get the flu vaccine each year is a personal decision. However, the FluMist vaccine does have an effect on the population as it is shed, and should be of concern to everyone.
Given the current shortage of the injection-form of the flu vaccine, consider the following before deciding on FluMist instead..........
Aside from the public safety issue of FluMist, here's some scientific info for you: each .5 ml dose of the FluMist nasal flu vaccine formula contains between 10,000,000 to 100,000,000 LIVE viral particles. Think they are all going to stay inside your system??
In addition, a stabilizing buffer containing sodium phosphate, sucrose and nearly .5 mg of monosodium glutamate (MSG). Based on peer reviewed studies, there is no question that glutamic acid is neurotoxic. Monosodium glutamate is described as a Mutagen and Reproductive Effector by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in their Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances.
Another thing to consider: inside your nose, at the top of the nasal passages is a paper-thin bone called the cribriform plate. The olfactory nerves pass though this bone and line the nasal passages. These carry the "smell" messages to our brains. This olfactory tract is a recognized direct path to the brain. Intranasal injection of certain viruses has resulted the serious brain infection called encephalitis, presumably by direct infection f the olfactory neurons that carried the viruses to the brain. Though FluMist (and the live virus it contains) has not been associated with encephalitis, is forcefully introducing those live viruses into such a fragile, brain-sensitive area that good an idea in the first place??
If you are interested in additional information on this or other vaccines, please contact the World Natural Health Organization.