Should healthcare workers be made to get the H1N1 vaccine?

According to a new study conducted by the University of Michigan, while nearly 90 percent of the public believes healthcare workers should be required to get the H1N1 vaccine, only 38 percent of health care workers actually intend to do so… Here’s a clip:

…As H1N1 influenza vaccine begins to be shipped across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasize getting the first doses to high-priority groups. One such
group is health care workers. A report released today by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health shows 87 percent of the public believes health care workers should be required to be vaccinated against H1N1 flu in case of an outbreak, while only 38 percent of health care workers intend to get the H1N1 flu vaccine…

…Because health care workers do not have a strong track record of vaccination against seasonal flu, hospital directors and in some cases public health officials (for example, New York State) have decided to mandate H1N1 flu vaccination for health care workers. There has been vocal opposition to this idea from some health care worker groups…

So, what do you think? Given the possible severity of the outbreak, and our reliance on healthcare professionals, should we consider mandating vaccinations?

This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Health and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Brackinald Achery
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 10:11 pm | Permalink


  2. Healthcare Worker
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    In the past few years (and last year, in particular), I have seen an increase in pressure to get seasonal flu vaccinations. It is aggressive and distasteful and feels as close to a mandate as I would like to come. I have chosen the flu vaccine each year for the past 8 years and will continue to do so. I do have MANY co-workers who DO NOT receive the vaccine and are firm in their stance. Either way, I want to defend the CHOICE to do with my own body as I please.

  3. EOS
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    No. Especially since there were so many problems with the last swine flu vaccine.

  4. Peter Larson
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    67% of all influenza infections are asymptomatic. That is, you may have the virus, be able to weakly transmit and have never known that you’ve had it. Given how rapidly and efficiently H1N1 transmits, this could spell out some dead bodies if you work in a hospital with already compromised patients. However, all that being said, if you are asymptomatic, your chances of transmitting are much weaker than if you have obvious flu symptoms.

    I wonder if the “Healthcare Worker”, who obviously gets the regular vaccinations and does the right thing has considered that being mandated by public health departments and health boards to get vaccinations is exactly what they signed up for. You’re job is to protect the health of patients. The vaccinations aren’t just meant to protect your own health. I personally do not want to walk into a hospital where workers are given the choice to not vaccinate. What else will they be given a choice on? Hand washing after taking a dump?

    I don’t think that libertarian ideas on freedom of choice extend to the conduct of members of the military, nor to police and fire departments, whose job it is to protect the populace. Granted, not all health workers are public employees (nor are all firemen), but the essential mission is the same and all must comply with standards mandated by higher bodies to insure the safety of the public.

  5. Posted October 2, 2009 at 7:43 am | Permalink


  6. tommy
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I say no, but if I were a healthcare worker, I would choose to get the shot anyway because I would be paranoid of someone suing me if they got the flu after an interaction with me and then found out I did not get the vaccine. Simple Risk mitigation in my view. Nothing good can come out of this ‘mandate’

  7. Chris
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Why can’t people put faith in their immune systems? If you make the right choices you don’t ever have to worry about being sick. If I get swine flu, then good. My body will fight it and I will have developed a natural immunity to it thereafter.

  8. Scott K
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    It is a responsibility to the patient and necessary to proper infection control for all healthcare workers to receive the flu vaccine as well as other such as Hep B. No different than scrubbing up for surgery and using the proper sterilization techniques. I work in administration and although I only spend limited time near patients each week for their and my protection I always get vaccinated.

  9. Peter Larson
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    “Why can’t people put faith in their immune systems? If you make the right choices you don’t ever have to worry about being sick. If I get swine flu, then good. My body will fight it and I will have developed a natural immunity to it thereafter.”

    Uhh… because it doesn’t work that way? First, you might be dead. Most likely not, but you might be, depending on who you are and how the virus has manifested itself.

    Secondly, the goal of vaccination is not only to protect the individual. It is also to mitigate the spread of infection. That is, if the particular disease you have is quite good at transmission, your single infection might produce 5 or 10 more infections. Some diseases transmit to well under the right circumstances that your single infection may result in more than 100 extra infections. Given that the population is not made up entirely of healthy 20 somethings, your chances of transmitting to an elderly person, pregnant mother or infant can be relatively high. If the spread of infection can be controlled, then the chances of excess mortality are lessened. H1N1 is extremely efficient at transmitting and has reached epidemic proportions in the middle of a season where influenza is not normally seen, hence the concern.

    Also, influenza immunity is not lifetime. In fact, immunity wanes rather quickly compared to other infectious diseases such as measles or chicken pox. while getting a flu this year may protect you against that particular strain next year, there’s no guaranteeing that you will have any protection the year after that. In addition, influenza viruses mutate at an extremely fast rate, which explains it’s efficiency and the impossibility of creating an all purpose vaccine.

    The idea behind these wide vaccination efforts is to mitigate transmission now. If the epidemic can be contained to the point where it burns out, then the present strain of H1N1 will have a lower chances of mutating and transmitting into an even more dangerous form. The 1918 H1N1 pandemic started out as a relatively mild flu that spread outside of the regular flu season, hence the high level of concern amongst public health groups.

  10. Ed
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    What this calls for is a rogue band of vaccinators who hunt down health care professionals and bring them to justice at the point of a syringe.

  11. EOS
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    More people died from the vaccine than from the last swine flu.

  12. Posted October 2, 2009 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I don’t work IN healthcare, but do work AROUND healthcare (IT work), and I too feel the pressure to get flu shots every season. But I think it’s a good thing and should be required (unless you have a medical reason not to, for example an egg allergy). There are plenty of examples of mandatory vaccinations – to enter public school you must have certain childhood vaccinations, and if you’re in the armed forces you have to get a bunch of shots before you go on deployment. So why should healthcare workers be exempt?

    Just because something is mandated, it does not mean the government is strapping you to a chair and poking you with a needle against your will. If you don’t want to get a flu shot, fine, just don’t expect to work in healthcare.

  13. EOS
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Why just healthcare? Why not school employees, or childcare, or any workplace? How long till the government controls all aspects of medical care that was once private information between a patient and their doctor?

  14. HauntedChickenCoop
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I like Ed’s comment about a rogue band of vaccinators to hunt down healthcare professionals. Reminds me of a bad Law & Order SVU episode where a renegade grandfather goes to gun down a woman who was tried (and got off) for not vaccinating her son who, carrying measles, infected an infant (who, to young to receive MMR, soon died).

    I don’t know what the answer is to this question. It is concerning though when they’re already projecting that if H1N1 spreads at the projection of 35% of the population having it – that 15 states will have no available hospital beds/will be way over capacity. So not having adequate healthcare workers b/c they’re sick themselves with flu could seriously exacerbate the problem.

  15. Kim
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Can someone please address EOS’s comment about the vaccine killing more people that the flu itself?

  16. Scott K
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Posted October 2, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink
    Why just healthcare? Why not school employees, or childcare, or any workplace? How long till the government controls all aspects of medical care that was once private information between a patient and their doctor?”

    That is what the Democratic leadership is trying to do right now….so it may not be long…..or it may be never being that someone has been trying to do the same since WWII ended.

    Still…just healthcare because of the exposure they have to people with compromised immune systems.

  17. Nic
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Screw the flu shot.
    Am I the only one that always ends up getting the flu when I do get a shot? If I don’t get it, I usually spend less time sick throughout the season. Being a UMHS employee, I get free shots. But, I don’t think they’re worth it. I don’t deal with patient care anyway.

  18. Peter Larson
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    EoS’s comment may very well be true. However, that is not to say that there weren’t lessons learned from the 1976 vaccination program.

    The 1976 H1N1 scare stemmed from an isolated incident at Fort Dix. A recruit reported flu like symptoms and died the following day and several more recruits were shown to have been infected.This led to a concern that a new virulent H1N1 strain had entered the population and would spread widely and kill large numbers are people. A large vaccination campaign was undertaken but the virus likely burned out at Fort Dix and never entered the general populace. Approximately 50,000,000 people were vaccinated and approximately 25 people died of complications suspected to have been related to the vaccine itself, mostly due to a condition where people are now known to have adverse reactions to the regular seasonal influenza vaccine. In the end, the event at Fort Dix was either a fluke or we were just lucky, that the recruits were contained so quickly.

    Is this variant of H1N1 comparable to the one in 1976? No. The present virus has already entered the general population and appears to be spreading rapidly, worldwide. In addition, it is a mistake to believe that the 1976 H1N1 is the same as the present one. That’s like mistaking German Shepherds with Border Collies. They are both dogs, but vastly different variants. Influenza mutates at an incredible rate so that there can be several variants of the same flu in circulation at one time in addition to several new variants emerging within a single influenza season. The result being that vaccines are never 100% effective, as Nic pointed out. For an 80 year old woman with cardio troubles, even a vaccine that is 50% effective could go a long way to making sure that she makes it to 81. However, this variant of H1N1 is nothing to laugh at. It spreads rapidly and does not seem to care whether it’s flu season or not.

    Should everyone get vaccinated? Yes, but that’s obviously logistically impossible and unreasonable. In addition, any vaccine or medication incurs a certain amount of risk. Giving more people more medications will inevitably lead to the emergence of the rare events of allergic reactions or the exacerbation of some existing conditions, as happened in 1976. It must be said, that the vast majority of people are at entirely minimal risk for adverse events from any flu vaccine. You actually stand a better chance of dying from the flu.

    Should people who work directly with patients be required to vaccinate? Yes, for two reasons. One is to protect the health of patients and the other is to maintain staff in the event of a large number of infections at once. Remember, it is not just about the individual, but also the people they care for.

    Who else should get vaccinated? Pregnant women, children, those over 65 and people who have conditions that put them at great risk for adverse events due to influenza infection.

    You can read about the 1976 H1N1 outbreak here:

    You can also read the recommendations for the present H1N1 here:

  19. Dan
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Kim, I can take a crack at EOS’s comment.

    The 1976 swine flu vaccine was associated with Guillian-Barre syndrome (GBS) and more people died from GBS received from the vaccine than the 1976 swine flu.

    From the CDC: Several studies have been done to evaluate if other flu vaccines since 1976 were associated with GBS. Only one of the studies showed an association. That study suggested that one person out of 1 million vaccinated persons may be at risk of GBS associated with the vaccine.

    I haven’t seen any association between GBS and the current H1N1 vaccine.

    I plan on getting both the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine, and having my kids vaccinated. People who don’t get vaccinated are selfish, though that doesn’t mean that flu vaccines should be required.

  20. Healthcare Worker
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    EOS: “Why just healthcare? Why not school employees, or childcare, or any workplace? How long till the government controls all aspects of medical care that was once private information between a patient and their doctor?”

    This is part of my point regarding how crazy it is to MANDATE one sliver of the population because of public view of their “role in society.” Think about video store employees… I can guarantee that hand washing is an important priority that is practiced at the hospital… probably not so much at the local video store…think about that back room…are those folks washing their hands regularly? Why not MANDATE workers least likely to wash hands? Where does it end?

  21. EOS
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Dan –

    “I haven’t seen any association between GBS and the current H1N1 vaccine.”

    Of course not. They haven’t administered it yet and it takes a while for GBS to develop and be diagnosed. They rushed this vaccine into production and have a media blitz designed to get as many as possible to receive it. The public at large will be the test group and we’ll get the results after the fact.

  22. Peter Larson
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare autoimmune neurological condition that anyone can develop at any time, but is most common in persons over 50. GBS can be triggered by ANY vaccine in addition to the flu itself. It is an extremely rare occurrence. Approximately 1 in 1,000,000 people will develop it from any influenza vaccine. If you put that into perspective, that means that if the entire population of the United States were vaccinated, 300 people might have it triggered and the majority of those who have GBS triggered will not die. 35000-50000 people will die of the flu and thousands more suffer complications every year that lead to lengthy hospitalizations and expensive treatments.

    3-5000 people have it triggered every single year by any number of causes, one being getting the flu.

    Recently, there has been much fear mongering about the H1N1 vaccine but this is mostly silly. The present H1N1 vaccine is, in reality, not much different than any other flu vaccine that millions of people get each year. You stand a higher risk of having an adverse reaction from the flu, especially if you are a pregnant woman, over the age of 65, under 5 or have a physically compromising condition.

    The fear-mongering flying around right now is far more irresponsible than the testing and validation procedures of vaccine development. If you are in a group at risk (as above), it is far more dangerous to not vaccinate and hedge your bets that nothing will happen than to get vaccinated. THe pathogen itself goes through a rigorous testing procedure as well to insure maximum infectivity and speed and ease of transfer. This 2009 H1N1 is doing a damn good job.

    As for the Healthcare Worker, I would argue that you find a new line of employment as you work every single day under government mandates meant to insure quality and safety for workers and patients. You are free not to vaccinate in my book, but I don’t ever want to send my aging relatives to your hospital.

    If you want to read about GBS, you can read here:

  23. Mark H.
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The 1976 incident is the atypical one. Other years, without doubt, the flu shots have saved more people by far than they’ve harmed. Gettng the shot carries risk…getting out of bed and living your life carries risk too. Society’s safer with active public health interventions than without them. Of course, in our age, using society as a unit of analysis is increasingly controversial, as if any of us existed in isolation, apart from the social whole, the body politic.

  24. Heidi
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Actually the CDC is advocating that people over the age of 49 to not get the H1N1 vaccination due to already having exposure to H1N1 or arleady getting the vaccination in 1976
    Read under Who should get the vaccination
    They are also recommending that people ages 2 to 49 get the shot and pregnant women.

    Also, people over 65 have the lowest risk, because they have built up a natural immunity over the years to various types of flus and viruses.

    There is also some concern with some of the ingredients in the vaccine.

    You find more information on

    As for me, I’m on the fence about the vaccination..I work in a public library so I’m around lots of people everyday, should librarians be mandated to have a flu shot? What about people that handle food, your groceries, and sales clerks?
    I also think that my family had H1N1 last year…before all the hype and media, there was a county fair near my work that had 30 people come down with swine flu in the fall of 2007

    That following spring, everyone at my workplace and their families came down with the same strange flu-like symptoms, adominal pain, sore throats, fevers that came on suddenly and strong, sore muscles..which may or may not have been from the violent emmitance of fluids from both ends, that sound alot like H1N1. In my case I remember coming into work, feeling like something hit me like a I left, by the time I got to the emergency room to see what was going on, I had a fever of 104 and developing bronchitis/pnemonuia. The doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong and they chalked it up to Noro Virus. Makes me wonder how many people have already had this flu at some point and didn’t realize it.

    So..anyway, that’s been my experience and I’m not saying to not get the vaccine, but please do your research, whichever way you decide…

  25. Dan
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    The current H1N1 vaccine has gone through the same testing and production controls that any seasonal flu vaccine goes through. Its not experimental and the CDC does not believe that it carries any greater risk than any seasonal flu vaccine.

  26. Heidi
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Correcting my own post, sorry:

    I also think that my family had H1N1 not last year but in the spring of 2008…before all the hype and media, there was a county fair near my work that had 30 people come down with swine flu in the fall of 2007

  27. Peter Larson
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink


    Your post is in reference to the live nasal vaccine and not the shot. The nasal vaccine should only be given to persons between 2 and 49 years of age. Really, the nasal vaccine is mostly for people who hate needles. The shot can be given to most persons, but the present H1N1 vaccine is recommended to the four groups I mentioned earlier. Your age and health status may determine whether you can get the nasal vaccine or the shot.

    People over 65 will have very little residual immunity to a flu or an immunization from 1976.

    With respect, is a member of the fear-mongering community. Any vaccine or medication will incur a certain level of risk and that risk will be documented. However, the manner in which vactruth presents it lies in the conspiracy theorist domain and focuses on risks and vastly downplays the benefits to vaccination. There is a risk in getting a tetanus shot. However, there is also a risk of getting tetanus that exists 24 hours a day, every day of my life. The risk of getting tetanus is far greater than the risk of having an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

    I would say that as a librarian, you should consider getting vaccinated just like anyone else and weigh out your risks and benefits. If you get sick, don’t go to work so that you do not spread to others. Wash your hands. Get vaccinated if you want to. Outside of that, there is nothing special you should do. No, people who work in video stores should not approach the flu vaccine with any more consideration than regular people.

    However, health professionals who have large amounts of contact with patients should get vaccinated given the great risks to immune compromised and weakened persons. This is also on the CDC site.

  28. Ypsiosaurus Wrecks
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Permalink


  29. Peter Larson
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    H1N1 has many variants and circulates throughout the world at any given time. The present variant is extremely efficient at transmitting. Thus, if you had a variant of any H1N1 influenza in the past, it does not mean that you nor your family have ever had the present one in circulation. There is no reason to believe that you are more or less immune to this one than any other.

    The name “swine flu” is unfortunate since it implies that there is a single thing called “swine flu”. Technically, a “swine flu” is any influenza virus that can be transmitted between pigs of which there are many. Sometimes, these viruses can mutate to transfer to humans, but it does not in any way mean that the particular mutation is that same type of mutation every time nor does this mean that it is even H1N1. Epidemiologists, clinicians and vaccine manufacturers use much more specific terminology. For the popular press, public health workers often use the more accuarate distinction “2009 H1N1”. But that’s just semantics.

    This anti-vaccine site troubles me greatly though. It amazes me that people are more than willing to discount and distrust trained public health researchers and professionals, but are more than willing to believe any uneducated yahoo who posts something sensational about a vaccine. I fear that these people want to distrust vaccinations so badly, that they forget the grave dangers that pathogens such as influenza present to many people in the population. In addition to discounting and discrediting the scores of people who have died or suffered from debilitating diseases which still exist amongst us: tetanus, pertussis, measles, influenza, cervical cancer, Hep A and B and scores of others. When I was recently in Africa, I saw no less than 5 people younger than me who were forced to crawl on the ground because their legs were crippled from polio. I would very much like to take some of these people to Africa so that they can see what a baby with neonatal tetanus looks like.

    While we are right to question the motivations behind pharma companies, the CDC and other public health agencies receive no monetary benefit from vaccination programs. In fact, public health is largely a bust when it comes to money. Everyone I know in public health is there for one reason: to save and improve lives unlike these wacko conspiracy sites and fear mongerers, which seek to benefit politically from the suffering of other people.

    Why am I posting on Mark’s blog?

  30. EOS
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    There is a significant risk associated with new adjuvants, or chemicals mixed with the vaccine containing dead or attenuated viruses. Adjuvants are included to stimulate the immune system to respond. Unfortunately, for a growing segment of our population, this immune stimulation results in autoimmune disorders, where a persons immune system starts attacking their own organs and tissues.

    GBS is only one of many diseases that result. The incidence of autism in children and Diabetes Type II in adults are both growing among the vaccinated population. Gulf War Syndrome, prevalent in soldiers who received the Anthrax Vaccination prior to the first Gulf War, is thought to have been caused by a new adjuvant added to that vaccine.

    The swine flu has spread around the world with very few deaths. It is preferable to be sick for a few days than to spend the rest of your life with a debilitating autoimmune disease.

  31. Brackinald Achery
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    I think vaccines are awesome and have clearly benefitted people. I just think forcing people to take vaccines is evil.

    Overriding individual people’s freedom is not good for society, because society is nothing but a bunch of individual people who are best benefitted by the preservation of their freedom — risks and all.

  32. amanda
    Posted October 4, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    As a health care worker and a woman I do not think that the government should have any control over my body. My health care choices are mine to make.

  33. just Josh
    Posted October 4, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    EOS: “There is a significant risk associated with new adjuvants, or chemicals mixed with the vaccine containing dead or attenuated viruses.”

    There are no adjuvants in either the H1N1 or seasonal flu vaccine.

    Citing adjuvants and other “toxins” as a reason vaccines are unsafe is simply another fearmongering technique being used by anti-vaccination groups. There is absolutely no link between autism and vaccines, yet some groups continue to perpetuate this myth. I agree with Peter Larson that the mild risks of having an adverse reaction to a vaccination are far less than the risk of contracting a preventable, sometime fatal illness.

  34. Peter Larson
    Posted October 4, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    There are already many state laws on the books mandating that health workers receive a variety of vaccinations, particularly those that work in prison or institutional settings such as nursing homes. The New York law mandating flu vaccination is nothing new, and appears to be in response to low voluntary vaccination rates among employees and large numbers of institutional outbreaks. It just so happens that certain persons have decided to politicize the event so that it makes the news.

    The comments I read from administration are entirely reasonable. The goal is to safely minimize patient burden. The comments I read from workers border on the absurd. “My immune system is perfect so I don’t need a vaccine.” This is really akin to “I will not think bad thoughts”, hoping for the best. Like I said before, 67% of all influenza infections are asymptomatic. Chances are many people have had it, transmitted it and didn’t even know. When you changed that old lady’s bedpan, you might have given her the flu, she might have died the next day. When you came in to help a pregnant lady, you can transmit the flu to her, she might die. It’s not highly likely, but a shot will make that chance minimal.

    Mostly, I find the outcry from health workers a little disappointing. They of all people should know about infectious disease transmission, influenza and specifically should be more educated about vaccines. But, as I’ve noticed, it appears that people can’t tell the difference between impassioned fictions and science.

    You can read about state laws regarding vaccinations here:

  35. Scott K
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Increase in prevalence of Type II diabetes in adults linked to vaccines? Sorry, Type II is the result of usually being overweight where the insulin the pancreas does produce cannot attach to the blood cells. It might be more believable if you said Type I diabetes which an immunological disease where the pancreas produces no insulin. Type I is genetic and all it takes is an illness of some sort to trigger it. Either you have it at birth or you don’t. And only 1% of diabetics are Type I. The idea that vaccines can cause any type of DM is far fetched. Again, fear mongering from an unreliable source that takes advantage of the general publics lack of knowledge.

  36. Oliva
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    fear mongering from an unreliable source that takes advantage of the general publics lack of knowledge

    A pitiful waste and waste of time (keeps showing up in different guises). But also a demoralizing situation–being tricked into being dumber (was maybe part of Peter L’s frustration a few days back). If bright, curious, vital people spend time deflecting or correcting simple, basic factual matters (even sometimes not “factual” but just obviously worthy, enlightened, plausible)–on a daily basis–they aren’t attending as well to innovative, progressive, otherwise forward-moving ideas and plans. It’s a ruse. And being tricked into being dumber leaves people feeling even dumber. So it’s a nasty, demoralizing ruse!

  37. Kim
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    We don’t allow kids into kindergarten without their vaccinations. Stop complaining and get the shots.

  38. Scott K
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    unless they’re home schooled, then they can get around that mandate

  39. EOS
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Scott –

    You need to read the medical literature within the past 7 years. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that results in destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Type II diabetes is an autoimmune-inflammatory disorder of the innate immune system that leads to increased resistance of cells to insulin. This increase in insulin resistance is associated with overexpression of TLRs and TLR signaling. The overexpression is seen in nonimmune cells and results in the production of cytokines and chemokines that can be activated through the TNF receptor-associated factor-6/NF-{kappa}B and interferon (IFN) regulatory factor-3/type 1 IFN signal pathway, which together increase IL-6 and phosphorylate STAT-3. In short, pathological expression of TLR/TLR signaling when evident in nonimmune cells can result in IL-6 and Stat-3 activation of Socs genes and cause insulin/leptin resistance as well as produce TNF-{alpha} and IL-1, which are also implicated in insulin resistance.

  40. EOS
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    In Michigan, the law states (MCLA § 333.9215, entitled “exemptions”): A child is exempt from this part if a parent, guardian or person in loco parentis of a child presents a written statement to the administrator of the child’s school or operator of the group program to the effect that the requirements of this part cannot be met because of religious convictions or other objections to immunizations.

    As long as the law remains intact, your child may attend school in Michigan with all, some, or no vaccinations. It is not mandatory.

  41. Brackinald Achery
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Wait… I thought you were a pool boy.

  42. the kingpin
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Dan, Kim, and the rest of the pro-forced vaccination crew…let me know when you or your offspring become impregnated again, so I can stop by for your mandatory abortions. Stick you needles and your bullshit in a warm, dark place, void of any sunlight….

  43. Oliva
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    So, how does a discussion about a vaccine become vile for no good reason? Why be hateful when it could so easily remain a fairly civil conversation between interested parties?

  44. the kingpin
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Sorry that my harsh statement offended you Olive Oyl. I just don’t take kindly to people who think they have full rights and moral obligation to force things into my body. I’m just getting really tired of having to defend my choice to not take a flu vaccine to people. If I have to hear about it’s benefits one more time, I think I may have to pop my own ear drums. I’ll take a chill pill now…or maybe a relaxation vaccination.

  45. Heidi
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Peter –
    According to the CDC (since the CDC seems to be the be all end all for most people, who want to just believe what ever the government tells us) podcast on who should get the vaccine, here is the transcript and it’s not just for the nasal spray:

    “The ACIP has recommended that when vaccine becomes available, immunization programs and providers should focus first on vaccinating as many people as possible in the following five groups:

    • pregnant women,

    • people who live with or provide care for children younger than 6 months of age,

    • health care and emergency medical services personnel,

    • people between six months through 24 years of age, and

    • people from the ages of 25 through 64 who are at higher risk because of chronic health disorders such as asthma, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.

    These groups total approximately 159 million people in the United States.

    Once the demand for vaccine for these groups has been met, the next group to be vaccinated includes everyone from the ages of 25 through 64 years. Unlike seasonal flu, people 65 or older appear to be less at risk of infection with the 2009 H1N1 virus than younger people. However, once vaccine demand among younger age groups has been met, programs and providers should offer vaccination to people 65 or older.”

    These reccommendations are vastly different from the seasonal flu.

    And if you don’t like the site, then can you show me where on the CDC’s site where it lists the ingredients for the H1N1 vaccine? I”m not trying to be cheeky here, just wondering if the CDC site doesn’t readily list the ingredients, then where can you go to find them?

    and as for all kindergartens needing shots, you can fill out a form that states your beliefs don’t agree with certain or all vaccinations. In my case, my now kindergartener has not had any DTaP shots since 2 months, he had a severe reaction to this shot, and the Ped recommended we not get this shot for him anymore, so I’m one of those filling out this paperwork.

  46. Peter Larson
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I would just like to point out that no one is forcing anyone to do anything. If you don’t want the vaccination, you can always go and work somewhere else (assuming that you work in New York State).

    There’s a difference between forcibly vaccinating people and having made requirements to work a particular job. There are requirements for many jobs and health workers in many states have long been required to recieve Hepatitis B vaccinations in addition to others, particularly in institutional environments. I would assume that people who work in animal production would be required to have tetanus vaccinations. I would also assume that many groups who work with animal control also require their workers to receive rabies vaccinations as a condition of employment. I would guess that insurance companies would refuse to cover employees if they did not. I can research this more if you would like. The military has long required soldiers to receive vaccinations. In addition, many universities require that students be up to date on vaccinations as a condition of enrollment. The New York law is nothing new.

    I think you are over blowing the situation if you believe that any level of government will go from having workplace requirements in place to forcibly aborting children. That’s a little bit of a stretch. Occupational safety and patient health are far different subjects than the pseudo-eugenics scenario you imply.

  47. Scott K
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the clinical details EOS. I was just going on what I have learned from my wife who has been Type I for 24 years (hers kicked in after a bout of the flu when she was 17) and my son who they can’t decide what he is yet so just calling him hyperglycemic and insulin dependent. A lot of it was research I did for genetic testing we had done on my son to determine MODY possibility since he is negative for the Type I anti-body. He has always received vaccinations and we just figured his situation had to do with genetics….so these vaccinations could possibly be another factor? (this isn’t said in a smart ass way, very sincerely…hard to convey that on here.)

  48. EOS
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Peter –

    There is no mandate that health care workers need be immunized against Hep B. Employers have to offer it, but individuals have the right to decline. Of all the categories you have mentioned, only the military has mandated vaccinations. People have a right to refuse medical treatment at any time and under no circumstances that I am aware of can they be compelled to accept innoculations as a condition of employment. You are the most unreliable source posting here.

  49. just Josh
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    EOS- I find it amusing that you accuse Peter of being the most unreliable source when you are propagating nonsense such as vaccines cause autism and type 2 diabetes and then proceed to defend it with a bunch of scientific jargon that you hope no one will understand. Type 2 diabetes is not autoimmune and nothing in your argument suggests a link between vaccines and the disease. However, there is a very real link between obesity and type 2 diabetes.

  50. the kingpin
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    In the area of the hospital that I work in, Vaccinations for Hep B. are not required. They are offered, but not required. Also…I hate when people say “well, you can just go work somewhere else”. Jobs are few and far between right now. I have a better idea….take care of yourself, and leave me out of it. As far as the military goes, they can make you do anything they want to, because when you join or are drafted, they OWN you. Nothing is really a “stretch” in today’s times. You laugh and scoff now, but look how things have changed in the last 50-100 years. That ain’t a long time brother…or shall we say Big Brother.

  51. Oliva
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    the kingpin–

    Off-topic, so I apologize for that, but you said you work in a hospital, and I have an insurance question you might be able to answer. Can you tell me why for, say, a $123 test, insurance will pay $19.82 and the medical care provider “writes off” the rest (unless they don’t)? I just spent a long time on the phone with an insurance company rep, who tallied up my charges following a routine physical, told me what insurance paid for, and what the medical provider was supposed to write off, and it’s . . . maddening as can be. I know I got impatient too, but the rep was saying things like, “If you’re not responsible enough to care about your own health by knowing what is covered and what is not covered before walking into your doctor’s office, then there’s nothing your insurance company can do about that, m’am” (this re. a routine physical, which has always been covered in the past), and “If your doctor orders you to buy a bag on TV, that doesn’t mean insurance will pay for your new bag.” As if . . . my concerns were about a bag bought on TV! Ugh. The insurance company ended up paying less than $100 of an $850 bill (in itself too high, I’d say) between rejecting charges and having the medical care provider write off the rest–and it’s not cheap insurance. (The woman on the phone did give me a hint that what you do is ask your doctor to say any questionable tests or procedures were because of a “medical symptom or condition” in order to get insurance to cover them. Ugh, argh, such a scam. One would think that was already understood to be the case.)

    Anyway, if you or anyone knows more about this practice of the medical care provider “writing off” substantial parts of a bill, I’d love to hear.

  52. the kingpin
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I wish I had the answer Oliva. My work at the hospital deals more with recycling, OSEH regs, and all that nasty stuff. I feel your pain though. My pregnant wife is going through some covered/not covered specialist referral garbage…so we found out we may be on the hook for a grand or two worth of tests that are necessary, but not covered. They make it as confusing as possible…..

  53. EOS
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Josh –

    There’s no way I can explain that technical jargon to this audience and I didn’t even attempt. There is a correlation between obesity and Type II diabetes, just as there is a correlation between increased inoculations and increased incidence of autoimmune diseases. While classically, Type I Diabetes was considered autoimmune and Type II not, that is not the case today. Type II is definitely autoimmune as well.

    My intent is not to prove causation, merely that the possibility of adverse effects exists and is sufficient to warrant serious reconsideration of routine immunization. I do not gain anything from suggesting that other people don’t get immunized. A selfish person would be one who encourages everyone else to get immunized, while they themselves don’t take the risk but benefit from others who do.

  54. Scott K
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I can help with this. Fees are set, essentially, based on what insurance companies will reimburse. For most all carriers, providers have a contract stating that they will pay a percentage of a fee or have a set fee schedule. For a typical office visit, a dr may charge $100. Medicare pays $25 for that no matter what. The doctor has a contractual write-off of $75, gets $20 from Medicare and typically would bill $5 to the patient (their 20%). Same for Blue Cross but they may pay $65 for this same office visit. A contractual write off of $35 is made and the patient owes only their office co-pay or whatever percentage of the allowed amount. The allowed amount is the $65. The reason why the fee is so high is that there are some insurances still out there that will pay 80%-100% of charges. So in those rare cases reimbursement is closer to the full $100. Healthcare is the only business you don’t get paid what you charge and you rarely get a chance to negotiate.

    If your insurance denies something an inclusive or non-billable procedure, the dr cannot bill you for it. If it is non-covered that means it is not covered per your contract with the insurance company and you as the patient is responsible for the bill. This is where the patient can get hit with the high fee, however any smart business manager for a dr will give a discount on that.

    For patients that do not have insurance, many offices charge a flat fee paid up front for an office visit, regardless of level of complexity such as $60.

    This still may be confusing, but if you need a better explanation feel free to contact me at or call me at my office at 248-414-2365. I’m the CFO of a medical company that includes a large physician practice.

    Hope that helps Olivia

  55. Oliva
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Scott K., you’re kind of wonderful to break it down and explain AND still be willing to let me call with other questions. Peter L. asked why even write at Mark’s blog the other day, and my thought was, Please keep doing so and thank you. Here again, thank you. I’m very touched that you took the time and care to explain this to me (and others).

    (If you come to our Reinvigorating Hope party, not yet fully imagined or announced–or even named actually–I’d love to buy you a healthful smoothie or a beer or something.)

  56. Dan
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kingpin,

    wow, I’m glad you don’t work with sick people.

    For what its worth I just called eople who don’t get vaccinated selfish, though that doesn’t mean that flu vaccines should be required. How did a comment like this get changed into forced abortion?

  57. Curt Waugh
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m honestly curious:
    1) Has anyone on this board ever had any of the diseases below? (They come from the CDC. I took some out of the list.)
    2) How was it?
    3) Did you infect anybody else?

    Hepatitis A
    Hepatitis B
    Influenza (Flu)
    Lyme Disease
    Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
    Poliomyelitis (Polio)
    Rubella (German Measles)
    Tetanus (Lockjaw)
    Typhoid Fever
    Yellow Fever

  58. Brackinald Achery
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Dibs on monkeypox.

  59. just Josh
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Permalink


    It is good that it is not your intent to prove causation, because I don’t think that you can. However, if there is negative correlation (as has been shown with thimerosal and autism) then causation is dis-proven. Yet certain groups are sill advocating this myth.

    I would really appreciate a source for the correlation between inoculations and autoimmune diseases because I don’t think this holds water either. While you are at it, a source for your claim that type 2 diabetes is autoimmune would be helpful. Your “mechanism” above suggests that inflammation is involved in type 2 diabetes (not autoimmunity), yet I would venture that there is increased inflammation in quite a variety of pathogenic tissues.

  60. Heidi
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    the kingpen,
    If you already know this or have tried it, excuse me. Ask to make sure the coding is right on the hospital bill. Sometimes the medical coder for the insurance bills, puts the wrong code down. Good luck!

  61. Oliva
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    the kingpen,

    congratulations to you and your wife. Not about the grand or two (can the doctor “adjust the diagnosis” submitted to the lab, checking “medical,” and have insurance kindly pay? I got the language from a different, much nicer rep at the insurance company. Oh my, what a crippled/crippling?! system. What Heidi suggested).

    But about the baby growing inside her. Good health (and health care coverage) to all of you! I just met an extremely, mind-blowingly gorgeous newborn who is very healthy and darling and content (and obviously words don’t serve to convey her raw splendor).

  62. Oliva
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Was trying to say I was just repeating Heidi’s suggestion (“What Heidi suggested”) but got distracted. The second insurance rep today spoke plain English with some kindness, which meant so much, and mentioned those words I quoted before as being useful in these circumstances. Have doctor give permission to billing to “adjust the diagnosis” to a “medical” reason (it’s not all pretty much medical already?)–and get doctor (get doctor! we are so powerful, after all) to mark as such on lab slip for future tests.

    On the up side: go Tigers!

    (Curt: flu, measles, a tick-borne illness but not for sure lyme disease–thankfully, that is all. Though I know people who’ve had one or two others; happily, they survived. And you?)

    As I said, go Tigers!

  63. EOS
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Flu, measles, mumps, rubella. Uncomfortable, but short lived.

  64. Peter Larson
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Since I have been deemed “unreliable”, both Maine and Alaska require that persons present proof of vaccination against Hep B (among others) upon employment for certain designated health facility types. Most other states are, as EoS has kindly pointed out, required to provide free vaccinations for health workers but have no particular laws regarding enforcement or firing. However, several states require that employees and residents of long term health facilities be vaccinated against influenza and strep. You can read the document below at your leisure.

    None of this stir in NY State is anything new.

    Links between childhood vaccinations and autism have largely and repeatedly been debunked. Links between vaccinations and Type 1 diabetes have also similarly been debunked although there is some question as to whether children of parents who have Type 1 diabetes can have the condition aggravated by certain vaccines. I’m no expert on diabetes, but that is just what I know.

    There are risks associated with any medication or medical procedure. Most commonly available vaccines have gone through more testing than most newly available pharmaceuticals. For some vaccines we have more than a billion test cases. I’m one of them. I seriously wish people would waste their medical screaming energies on something more serious, like the health care costs or the lack of medical resources and information for children. Really, obesity among children is the biggest cause of diabetes at this point. I’d say that’s bad parenting, yet another plague on our society. Infectious diseases still pose more of a threat to children than the vaccines do.

    Curt’s question is interesting. I’ve had measles, mumps, pertussis and flu. Did I infect anybody? Probably.

    I know people who have had Hep B (they died), polio (crippled), Lyme disease (debilitating mental problems and arthritis) and TB (OK now). The others still exist with the exception of Smallpox. Did they infect anybody? Who knows. Lyme disease comes from ticks. Hep B runs through the gay community and health workers who have contact with infected blood. It depends on the disease, but all of us have given somebody a cold or the flu at some point.

  65. Heidi
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Flu, measles, chicken pox (which they also have a vaccine out for now),and the small pox vaccination never took on I’m not sure if there was an outbreak if I would be at risk?
    I’m also sure each and everyone of us had rotovirus or commonly know as Toddler Diarrhea (nice huh?) as the vaccine first came out in the later 1990’s (well at least that’s past my prime :]) which started causing intussusception, so they took it off the market. In 2006 a new vaccine came on the market.

    As for infecting anyone and how it was, not sure all of this happened before the age of 6…as for the flu, the first time I ever got that was in 2008..knock on wood.

  66. Odds
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    YAAAH! Who the fuck said health care workers should believe in health care?

    That’s like saying UAW workers should drive American made autos!

    No the government shouldn’t force them to get the shots.But their coworkers should take tie irons and smash their magic science resistant heads in and let them slow bleed home.

    “Hi! I work in a hospital! I’ll give you the shot I don’t believe in!”

    Cunt sniff suck puss lying scraped up minimum wage ass whip.

    Inject the hypocrites.

  67. healthcare Worker
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Odds, Tone it down, please. Try to express yourself without the vulgarity, please.

    Mark? Hello?

  68. C-rin
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Odds strikes me as a girl who acts like a bratty child when she doesn’t get her way. Perhaps she’s feeling like a loser, and jealous, or perhaps she’s just a mean drunk. Maybe she thinks it’s okay to take her problems out on anybody nearby. Maybe spitting poison is how she gets attention and feels in charge. Maybe, deep down, she can’t admit to herself that she’s just another small, triflin’ bitch who did never amount to shit and ain’t at all any better than the playas she hates.

  69. EOS
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Peter –

    Did you even read the info in the link you posted? Both Alaska and Maine have exemption clauses for those persons who choose not to get immunized. It is not a requirement for work. You continue to mislead.

  70. Peter Larson
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Maine’s exemption clause states that medical, religious an philosophical reasons can expempt a person from having to be immunized and that the person has to present these justifications in writing. That’s a bit different from the other states where people can merely say no. While neither law has much in the way of teeth, at least Maine narrowed down the exemptions to mirror the approach that schools take.

    Alaska was not in the post I made, so I assume you did not read it. As far as I know (from the CDC site), Alaska does not have an exemption for Hep B. Maybe they do, but it’s not here. I am open to being wrong or ill informed:

    “[510] For Alaska requirements, see Alaska Admin. Code tit. 7 § 12.650, relating to “facilities and local units of health and social services.” Alaska Admin. Code tit. 7 § 12.650 (2007) requires each facility to have an employee health program that requires evidence of immunization against hepatitis B. Note that these requirements apply only to those facilities identified in the regulation, and not all settings covered by the chart’s definition of hospital. “Facilities and local units” are defined in Alaska Admin. Code tit. 7 § 12.990 as including (among others) the following facilities: general acute care and rural primary care hospitals, critical access hospitals, and specialized hospitals. ”

    You are correct in that the New York law removes the exemptions for religious and philosophical reasons, in addition to removing the absurd exemptions for people who just decided not to get it but still, this conversation is nothing new. It is my opinion that any health workers who has direct contact with patients, especially those under long term care, during influenza season acts at the highest level of irresponsibility, putting their own percieved health risks above their patients. While I do not advocate firing, per se, I would suggest that they be taken out of contact with patients. I know I would if I were staying there. This is a safety issue, as the New York requirements state.

  71. Fred
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I was at the bar last night and the woman serving beer mentioned that she’d gotten her flu shot. She said that the owner had kind of demanded it.

  72. Stacy
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I’m kind of new here, so sorry if this comes across as naive, but has EOS ever been right on anything? This is the third thread I’ve read where he’s been systematically dismantled in front of my eyes.

  73. Scott K
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    To follow up on the change the diagnosis to get paid comment….if the doctor does so without the proper documentation in the chart that is a huge compliance issue and the insurance companies will jump all over it and have a full blown audit happen (I have worked for a company where the government came into one of our processing centers toting M-16’s and kept everyone there for hours while they took the paperwork they wanted…Janet Reno era and her fight against healthcare fraud…nothing came of it but a fear throughout the company). Ironically that is the most common. assistance insurance company reps give to get a claim paid. If the doctors document properly in the first place it shouldn’t be an issue to change the Dx code.

    BTW….Rubella here but I was a baby so I doubt I infected any patients. And I gladly took the Hep B series of vaccinations when offered to me by the hospital I once worked for.

  74. EOS
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    My mistake – AL is Alabama, not Alaska (AK).

    But look at the link you provided in your last post.

    P. 19 Residents and employees may refuse

    The NY law mandates that employers offer vaccinations to employees or residents of health care facilities and that they keep records of immunizations. But from the link you, yourself posted, they cannot mandate that persons receive those immunizations.

  75. EOS
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Stacy –

    “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”


  76. Peter Larson
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Yes, that is how the New York law stands outside of the Health Care Personnel Influenza Vaccination Requirements that I posted. I’m no lawyer so I don’t know where this fits with the general New York law. The Health Care Personnel Requirements apparently amended a previous set of requirements.

    Perhaps you can do the digging on the original set of requirements and see if the New York Hospital Review Board is in the right.

  77. Money Trail
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I bet that someone is making a lot of money the last few years off of all this “fear”. What did they say? They have 28 million doses ready to go? Let’s see, even if they cost the government $1 a piece, that would be a lot of dough! But you know they cost more than that. And then there are the doctor’s offices who are charging $15-$20 for the office visit to get it…and that is just the H1N1 vaccine, not the regular flu. Also, some children may need 2 shots. Add that together with a great marketing campaign of fear through the news, to scare everybody into getting one, and the drug companies have walked away with a pretty nice profit.

  78. Scott K
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what it costs to produce the vaccine but the cost per dose from one of my suppliers is $6.70 for the seasonal flu vaccine, not H1N1.

  79. Curt Waugh
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Thank you to those of you who answered my question. Looks like vaccine-preventable illnesses were once around. I’m guessing we couldn’t find a single young person who has had any of this stuff.

    Here’s the most funniest part about EOS’s anti-vaccine rant: He is also a supposed libertarian who thinks the government should get out of our personal business and let corporations run wild. Ergo, he believes that an employer should be allowed to force their employees to be vaccinated, as I’m sure he believe an employer should be allowed to drug test or any other body probiliciousness.

    And no, Stacy, he is never right. He is not a “great spirit”. And he’s really just Mark Maynard in disguise.

  80. Peter Larson
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Of course the vaccines are profitable. If they weren’t companies wouldn’t make them. Every single medical advance is driven purely by profit. Without a profit motive there would be no money for research, development nor implementation. Plenty of medical conditions get far too little research attention simply because they aren’t profitable.

    That being said, numerous studies have indicated that it is far cheaper for a medical facility to vaccinate it’s staff than not and it’s far cheaper for business and individuals if the population is healthy and everyone isn’t taking days off for illness.

    And no, Curt, most of those diseases are still here. Most developing countries still suffer from many of the illnesses you describe. Airplanes?

  81. EOS
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    No Curt,

    I’m not, nor have I ever been a libertarian or Mark Maynard. Please stop posting untruths about what I believe.

    I believe you should speak for yourself.

  82. Money Trail
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Blah Blah Blah, Larson. You missed my point.

  83. Brackinald Achery
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Just to clarify things, are we arguing about Government-mandated vaccinations or employer-mandated vaccinations? Or just anybody-mandated vaccinations?

  84. Kilto
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care who it is that wants me to go on vacation – if they’re paying, I’m going.

  85. just Josh
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Why is the fact that someone makes a profit an argument against vaccinations? I don’t know what the actual margin of profit is for a company that manufactures a vaccine, but I doubt it’s exorbitant. It costs a lot of money to design and produce a safe vaccine. What, then, would be the incentive for making the vaccine if there is no profit? Would you rather simply trust government-run labs to design, manufacture, and test all of the vaccines? And you think people are going crazy about the country headed toward socialism now….

  86. Money Trail
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    With doses numbering in the multi-millions, there is a lot of money to be made…especially when they scare the shit out of people, and strong arm or guilt them into taking them. Sharks attack very few people a year, but when you run a bunch of news stories about shark attacks, people start to think they happen more than they do. That’s all I’m saying…

  87. James Madison
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    With all due respect, Mr. Peter Larson, Sir, I must object to this statement of yours: “Every single medical advance is driven purely by profit. Without a profit motive there would be no money for research, development nor implementation. ” This statement is false because it overlooks the very great extent to which basic medical research is funded by the Federal Government — billions and billions is so invested. That public investment is NOT “driven purely by profit.” Nor are the great humanitarian works of vital public health campaigns around the globe driven by profit.

    Nor, for that matter, am I sure that vaccinations are particularly profitable. But I cannot research that tonight.

  88. Peter Larson
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Very much disagree. While the basic research may be government funded, the overall end goal is to create a healthy population and to continue to stimulate a significant part of our economy. In addition, implementation by providers is always guided by supply and demand, the level of profit that a health provider can make, in addition to the amount of money people/insuarnce companies are willing to pay. Medical services are truly unique within our economy in that they provide good and benefit people’s lives, but also make money.

    Not that I think that this is a bad thing. Health providers should be paid for what they do, one every level to insure quality of service. Not that this always happens….

  89. EOS
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 6:27 am | Permalink


    Here’s the requested citations to support what you termed as “fear mongering”. The “myth” that adjuvants have been proven to be detrimental and that vaccines are known to cause autoimmune diseases is supported by 30 journal references at the link provided.

    “Publications” :

    Officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) and U.K. National Health Service (NHS) have argued for the possible inclusion of squalene adjuvants in candidate swine flu vaccines without informing the public that rats injected with squalene develop the animal versions of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis; and induces antibodies specific to systemic lupus erythematosus in mice. Rheumatoid arthritis, MS and lupus are incurable autoimmune diseases – diseases that occur when the immune system attacks the body it is supposed to defend. Examination of rats injected with squalene showed severe inflammation in their joints; other show lesions in the brain and nerves stripped of their insulation called the myelin sheath. Demyelization is a clinical hallmark of MS. There are two squalene adjuvants being tested in clinical trials in the U.S. Europe, Asia and South America – MF59 from Novartis and AS03 from GlaxoSmithKline. According to the manufacturers, at least 46 thousand volunteers are now enrolled in clinical trials for swine flu shots containing MF59 and AS03. Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline say their adjuvants are safe. The Novartis adjuvant, MF59, is already licensed in a seasonal influenza approved for human use in the European Union.

  90. just Josh
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Permalink


    Your citations are a perfect example of fear mongering – thank you.

    Not a single reference in the link you posted has anything to do with vaccines. In fact all of them refer to methods of inducing autoimmunity in rodents with the goal of developing a model organism in which to study such diseases. Obviously, large amounts of pure squalene (which is a naturally occurring substance produced in the liver) had to be injected. This is orders of magnitude more than what is in a vaccine preparation.

    Why do you even bring this up? These adjuvants are not even in the vaccines distributed in the U.S. There are only two reasons that I can think of:
    1. you are not too bright, or
    2. you are trying to incite fear in people.

    Which is it?

  91. Curt Waugh
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Hey BA, what difference does it make if vaccinations are government or employer mandated? Isn’t it “my body, my right”? Please clarify why this matters.

  92. Brackinald Achery
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Chill, Curt, I wasn’t trying to make a point. Just trying to make sure everyone knows what they’re arguing over. I’m still trying to decide what I think about employers mandating that sort of thing as a condition of employment. I’m positive that Government mandating it as a condition of employment in a private business is wrong. But employers? Hmmm.

  93. EOS
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Josh –

    Let me connect the dots for you. Squalene was used as an adjuvant in the Anthrax vaccine given to U.S. soldiers before they departed for the first Gulf War. Data published in the February 2000 and August 2002 issues of Experimental and Molecular Pathology strongly suggests that Gulf War Syndrome is caused by a vaccine contaminated with squalene.

    The August 2002 article is entitled “Antibodies to Squalene in Recipients of Anthrax Vaccine” (Exp. Mol. Pathol. 73,19-27 (2002)).

    Gulf War Syndrome, or GWS, is the term which has been applied to the multi-symptom rheumatic disorder experienced by many veterans of the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf war. A similar disorder appeared in 1990-1991-era personnel who were never deployed to the Persian Gulf theater of operations and also in other military personnel, including participants in the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program, or AVIP, which was inaugurated in 1997. No data has ever suggested that the disorder experienced by the deployed 1990-1991 soldiers is different from the disorder experienced by the other groups of patients, but the other cases have not been considered to be cases of GWS.

    Squalene was found by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in five lots of the AVIP anthrax vaccine. The discovery of serum anti-squalene antibodies and the development of a test to detect these antibodies has made it possible to see that links appear to exist between the contaminated AVIP vaccine lots, the illness experienced by post-1997 vaccine recipients, the illness experienced by non-deployed 1990-1991-era patients, and the illness in deployed 1990-1991-era patients that has been referred to as GWS.

    The data establishing these links is presented in the peer-reviewed February 2000 and August 2002 articles. The published findings (1) strongly suggest that the GWS-like illness being reported by all of the various patient groups is the same illness, (2) strongly suggest that the contaminated vaccine caused the illness in the AVIP group, and (3) further suggest that squalene contamination of one or more 1990-1991-era vaccines accounts for the GWS cases from that era.

    Note*** GWS developed in soldiers who were never deployed in the Gulf, but who had received inoculations from the same lots of vaccines. It is antibodies developed by the soldiers who received the vaccines that led to the GWS disease, and was not a result of the toxicity or the amount of squalene present in the vaccine, just the mere presence.

    When biochemists want to determine the function of a particular cell receptor, for example, they over express that receptor a thousandfold and then study the amplified results in order to prove, conclusively, the function of that particular receptor. In a similar manner, the previous 30 publications that I cited, prove without a doubt, that squalene causes the detrimental effects listed. Since the mechanism of the disorder is immune mediated, then it is not dose dependent.

    Vaccines are foreign substances injected into the body to stimulate the production of antibodies so as to provide immunity to subsequent exposure to that pathogen. Sometimes these foreign substances stimulate the production of antibodies that don’t differentiate perfectly between the pathogen and the person’s own cells and tissues, and as a result, cause autoimmune diseases.

    The manufacturers of vaccines in our country do not list the individual components of any adjuvant included in their vaccines. They are identified by trade names and their composition is proprietary. There is no way possible for an individual to discern and evaluate what chemicals are being injected into their bodies. And here’s the kicker – they are protected by law from being held responsible for any adverse effects that result.

  94. just Josh
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    EOS- Sorry, but your dots do not connect.

    1. There were no detectable levels of squalene in any lots of vaccines that were claimed to be conaminated.

    2. The studies you cite, while peer-reviewed, are extremely poor. They contain none of the proper controls. In fact when they were called out on it they simply said, “we did them but just didn’t show the results.”

    3. More recent research employing a better method with the proper controls has shown that antibodies to squalene are present in quite a number of people, even people who have never had GWI symptoms or received any of the controversial vaccines. and

    Finally, I would like to remind you that this adjuvant is NOT used in any vaccines in the U.S. I don’t see how this can be your argument against the seasonal or H1N1 flu vaccine which do not contain any adjuvant at all, let alone the one containing squalene.

  95. EOS
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Give it up Josh,

    1. The FDA confirmed the presence of squalene. That a single lab couldn’t confirm it’s presence is not proof that it wasn’t there.

    2. You don’t risk inducing a debilitating illness in humans. Koch’s postulates don’t apply. It was a retroactive study. It would be unethical and no IRB would permit such a study.

    3. That antibodies to squalene exist in individuals who don’t have the disease is irrelevant. It’s the interaction of antibodies with particular genetic variations that result in autoimmune disorders.

    4. Americans are included in the 46 thousand individuals who are currently testing swine flu vaccines made with squalene.

    You are free to allow any employer to inject anything they want into your body. To advocate mandatory inoculations with undisclosed ingredients to an unwilling population justifiably fearful of adverse effects is an atrocity and an egregious attack on personal liberty.

  96. just Josh
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I will give up, EOS. I am starting to see that Olivia was right; it is utterly useless and a waste of time to continue trying to correct the record against false claims and fearmongering. I know that I’ll never convince you, but I hope nobody actually believes what you are saying. I trust the readers of this blog have the critical thinking skills to make the sound conclusions and seek appropriate counsel when they are not sure.

    For those of you who would like a good resource when it comes to discerning what to believe when it comes to medical questions that are surrounded in controversy, the following web site contains information posted by a variety of medical professionals and is extremely well written.

  97. EOS
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Those with critical thinking skills can review the references I cited and realize that I’ve backed up everything I said with real science. If you are willing to lie to others and suggest these are false claims and fear mongering, then you’d probably lie about other things as well. Your “sciencebasedmedicine” link is a small group of people who write commentary and editorials that are neither peer reviewed or science.

  98. Peter Larson
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I had a student once who tried to do her final statistics project on the link between breast cancer and induced abortion. At first, I thought that she was concerned about breast cancer in women, but then I realized this is an oft circulated story within the pro-Life community used to justify the banning of the practice. Numerous groups have done studies to discover if there is such a link and contradictory results have surfaced but most reasonable sources are convinced that no such link exists. I didn’t challenge her on it to any extent (I usually let students discover their own answer themselves from the data) but I did point out that many people have reached a consensus that says no link exists. Her response was that this is a fabrication by the pro-Choice community to justify the continual killing of babies. I pointed out that no one has qualms about indicating that birth control pills are associated with certain cancers, why would medical researchers want to cover up risks associated with a medical procedure? Rationally, it would make no sense to hide risks, even if purely seen from a financial liability standpoint.

    There are risks associated with ANY medicine and ANY medical procedure. I am not doubting that there are risks associated with vaccines for certain people (we are not all the same) but the benefits of vaccines are difficult to deny and it is clear that no company would have any financial stake in selling medicines which intentionally poison people. It would be much more to their benefit to be injecting people with saline solution and lie and claim false benefits rather than knowingly inject people with cancer causing agents and then lie later. I very much stress knowingly. It is very much to the long term benefit of vaccine producers and researchers to develop safe products.

    The problem I have with the anti-vaccine lobby, is that they mix the politics with the claims so deep to the point where all objectivity is lost. I am very skeptical that they really want to save lives.

    Let’s, just for second, imagine a world where people are no longer vaccinated.

    I tell you what, go to a country where, up until recently, most people were not vaccinated and see for yourself.

  99. Posted October 16, 2009 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    I read most of these statements, some – even the ones that says no for the vaccine, is a bit far fetched. I am allergic to the vaccine. I am a HCW working with kids in intensive care. The kids come in with H1N1, so I’m more prone getting it from them, then they from me. The parents come in spluttering and coughing all over the place, but have to stay because of the child. So they, too, also infect me. But they do not need the vaccine, even if they are in theire child’s room the whole time.

    The two or three pharmaceutical companies that makes the vaccine take no law suits for anybody getting sick over the H1N1 vaccine, no matter what. The government has excempted them!!! Makes you think ….

    All the kids at my hospital that I took care of with H1N1 had an underlying disease or H1N1 came as secondary issue. Most of the kids I’ve seen had family and friends that had H1N1 and they were FINE!!!!

    I believe in all vaccines, but not this one. If you’re so scared you’re gonna get it, go have the vaccine yourself so I won’t make you sick and make sure you give you’re family this as well and I hope I never have to have you as a patient (or your child) for side effects or any respiratory associated illness.

    We as healthcare workers have rights too, so if I need to get a vaccine, you come here with your coughs and splutters – you should get one first!!!

  100. Sarah
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    U-M to host two-part tweet chat on H1N1/Swine flu Oct. 22

    Chat will allow public forum for discussing the latest updates,
    information on H1N1/Swine flu

    ANN ARBOR, Mich.–Members of the public are invited to submit questions
    for inclusion in a two-part tweet chat about H1N1/Swine flu that will
    take place Thursday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. – noon on Twitter.

    Sandro Cinti, M.D., an infectious disease expert at the University of
    Michigan Health System and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, will answer
    questions during part one of the chat from 10 – 11 a.m.

    Matthew Davis, M.D., a pediatrician and internist who directs the C.S.
    Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health and also
    serves as associate professor of public policy at the U-M Ford School of
    Public Policy, will answer questions during part two from 11 a.m. –

    To participate, you must first have a Twitter account. To submit your
    questions for inclusion in the chat, direct message them via Twitter to
    @UMHealthSystem. Depending on the volume of questions, there may not be
    enough time to answer all questions received, though every effort will
    be made to do so.

    To follow the chat, log in to or using your
    Twitter log-in information, from 10 a.m. – noon Thursday, Oct. 22, and
    follow the hash tag #H1N1swinefluchat.

    A transcript of the chat will be posted online at


  101. Posted October 19, 2009 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    So, has the H1N1 been claiming victims locally yet?

  102. Lacey Rufcorn
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    At the University of Michigan hospital, they’re making people wear masks who didn’t want to get the flu shot.

  103. Eel
    Posted January 18, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Fortunately, the conservatives will all be dead soon.

    Because of things like this:

    Houston councilman votes to reject federal money for childhood vaccines. “I’m going to vote against this,” said Christie. “You don’t die from the flu.”–187209581.html

  104. anon
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    So to head back on topic instead of following EOS’s conspiracy theories and really stupid shit, (Yes, Stacy, EOS is painfully out int he weeds intellectually – and possibly physically). …

    I work at a facility that has about 2500 professionals (Engineers, IT experts etc). The health center there sent an email to everyone on the campus offering free flu vaccines and followed up with everyone who said yes. The number of people vaccinated was close to about 2000.

    Turns out contractors got missed and they made up the majority of the 500 folks that chose not to get vaccinated. From what we can tell – the flu shot really worked and the flu (A type H3N2, with some H1N1 mixed in) that has hit our facility ate up sick time for most of the non-vaccinated folks. Nasty stuff this one. They went down for a full week.

    Should it mandatory? I don’t think so (I’m a big one for people to have choices about what happens with their bodies). That being said, if you aren’t vaccinated and you are a healthcare worker -a) I want to know and b) I don’t want to be near you . so maybe ye ol’ scarlett H3N2 risk badge on the uniform is appropriate?

  105. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    If you get a flu vaccination and it is effective against the strain of flu that you encounter, then it doesn’t matter if you come in contact with another individual who is harboring the virus – you are protected. If the vaccine is not effective, then it doesn’t matter that someone else did or didn’t receive the vaccine because everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, would also be vunerable. An individual who chooses not to be vaccinated willingly accepts the risk of getting the flu. But mandating health care workers to get the flu vaccination would impose any associated risks of the vaccine on the worker in order that the patient can avoid getting vaccinated because of those same risks. CDC has recently reported this year’s flu vaccine to be 60% effective. (4 out of 10 will get the flu eveen though they received the vaccination)

    In referring to me as a conspiracy theorist because I cited peer-reviewed medical journal articles, anon has made his intellectual shortfalls apparent to all.

  106. Oliva
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    From CDC: flu shot is 62% effective for seasonal flu strains covered by the shot; very young and old and those with chronic diseases tend not to get much help from the flu shot, which is what could make that percentage so low. But still, low is better than zero, esp. for anyone who dodges the flu.

    What are the symptoms of H3N2v [new variant going around the country]?
    Symptoms of H3N2v infection are similar to those of seasonal flu viruses and can include fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

    Is there a vaccine for H3N2v?
    Early steps to make a vaccine against H3N2v have been taken, but no decision to mass produce such a vaccine has been made. [CDC head said on radio they’re hard at work trying to get it in next year’s or the year after’s flu shot.]

    Will this season’s flu vaccine protect me against H3N2v?
    The 2012-2013 seasonal flu vaccine will not protect against H3N2v.

  107. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    The flu virus mutates rapidly. If 100% of the world population were vaccinated against the current strain of the flu it would not eradicate the flu. It would merely provide the selective pressure for a resistant strain to arise and potentially infect 100% of the population.

  108. Posted January 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    You are correct that the influenza virae mutate rapidly. This is (one of the reasons) why vaccines have to developed yearly.

    You do bring up an interesting set of questions. I know a lot about malaria, but not so much about influenza, but what knowledge I do have tells me this:

    You are incorrect that vaccinating large numbers of people will exacerbate mutation. The virus may adapt to evade that years particular vaccine, true, but opportunities for mutation into a particularly virulent strain become more probably with increasing numbers of transmission events.

    Vaccination creates “dead ends,” decreasing the number of opportunities for mutation and reduces the chance of a severely virulent strain from appearing.

    I have sent this question to one of my colleagues, who, it turns out, is an expert in matters of influenza transmission and influenza vaccines.

    There is much we do not know about influenza. We do, know, however, that unvaccinated health workers who work with immuno-compromised and weak patients put their patients at great risk for disease and death. We also know that many cases of influenza are without symptoms, but even with out symptoms, transmission occurs. Thus, persons are unable to recognize whether they are infected or not, and staying home will do little to prevent transmission.

    Therefore, it is entirely irresponsible to allow health workers who work with members of the above groups to have contact with patients without being vaccinated. If they don’t like it, it is my opinion that they should find another job.

  109. Posted January 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    You are correct that influenza would not be eradicated and there are many, many different species and types of influenza, some of which are known to also infect, and sometimes arise from, non-humans.

  110. Posted January 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    *as not and.

  111. Posted January 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    “The flu virus mutates rapidly. If 100% of the world population were vaccinated against the current strain of the flu it would merely provide the selective pressure for a resistant strain to arise and potentially infect 100% of the population.”

    This possibility of this is so small as to be effectively non-existent for a number of reasons.

    I’m sorry I gave this oxygen.

    Did you just make this up, or is this what people say over the water cooler?

  112. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    When penicillin was discovered, medical science thought that they had erradicated bacterial disease. Now, most pathogenic bacteria are resistant to penicillin. Widespread use of antibiotics when they are not necessary has led to many drug resistant strains of bacteria. Bacteria are evolving defenses for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation antibiotics. Today, there are strains of TB, staph, and STD’s that are resistant to all antibiotic therapies. The only treatment for some flesh-eating bacteria today is amputation. The bacteria are evolving faster than medical science can come up with novel therapies and many in the medical field are predicting a time in the near future where death as a result of bacterial infection may again become commonplace.

    Viruses evolve faster than bacteria and as you stated, can cross species as well. That a resistant strain would evolve is inevitable. The only questions are how quickly this would happen, how virulent the strains would be be, and how rapidly they would spread.

  113. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Also, in case anyone is misled, I did not write nor do I believe that vaccinations would exacerbate mutations. The rate of mutation is independent of the effectiveness of any immune repsonse. Selective pressure applies to the entire population of influenza virus left after vaccinations reduce susceptible strains. Resistant strains survive and reproduce thereby altering the proportion of the surviving population of virus that would be able to spread disease in spite of host vaccination status.

  114. EOS
    Posted January 24, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

  115. Meta
    Posted August 27, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    “Anti-vaccine megachurch hit with measles epidemic, now offering free vaccinations”

    Read more:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative Leisa Thompson