Following Your Inner Compass: Rejecting Flu Vaccine in Pregnancy

Following Your Inner Compass: Rejecting Flu Vaccine in Pregnancy

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I dare say that the modern woman has handed over her inner compass. It's as if we came from generations of master chefs – natural giants in the kitchen, using our senses and instincts to guide us toward nourishing preparations – but we have been recently convinced through the promise of technology and corporate prowess that processed food is more reliable, nutritious, and beneficial. We've been convinced that Hamburger Helper is better for our families than a homemade Bolognese.

The medicalization of pregnancy and birth is no exception.

In this way, women have permitted doctors and pharmaceutical companies privileged access to their fierce and primitive drive toward protecting a pregnancy. They have been made to feel fear, convinced that they need the support of the apparatus of allopathic medicine to get them through this perilous trial.

I'd like to take a moment to pause. Take a deep breath. And ask the women reading this to look inside and to check if that compass is there. Ask if they can hold it gently in their hand and trust that their bodies and minds know how to guide them, when properly supported and cared for.

If you must relinquish your power to doctors, I recommend finding one who acknowledges the awesome dangers of blindly following medical doctrine. Outsourcing our health to pharmaceutical companies is an extremely myopic approach to securing lasting wellness. I'd like to show you that the guiding authorities you have been led to believe are acting in your best interest are guilty of some pretty heinous crimes of abuse and neglect, and never more so than in the pregnant population.

Enter the ACIP, or the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

This group of "thought leaders" is charged with the task of determining what vaccines will be pushed upon you during your doctor's check-ups and wellness visits. It consists of heads of pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis and Sanofi Pasteur, and is a prime example of the enmeshment between the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and industry.

There are several reasons why a committee that behaves in the way this one does should not be one that you trust with your body or your baby.

Since 1997, the ACIP has recommended the trivalent inactivated flu vaccine to pregnant women after the first trimester. Then, in 2004, this recommendation, inexplicably changed and grew, as is the way with vaccine recommendations, to encompass all pregnant women (and every human over 6 months of age), regardless of personal risk factors, immune determinants, diet, regional exposures, and timing of injection.

But they must have determined that it was safe? How could they recommend it?

Determining that something is "safe" in pregnancy is like saying that because individuals don't have car accidents on passage from point A to B, that riding in a vehicle is safer than walking. For ethical reasons, pharmaceutical products cannot be studied in a randomized manner in pregnancy, severely limiting our ability to look at short or long-term outcomes. The surprising news is that vaccines, the pharmaceutical product in question, have never been studied in a truly placebo controlled manner, in single, or multiple deliveries, and not for long-term outcomes, even in a general population.

I have discussed, in previous articles, the concerns surrounding the recommendation of a pharmaceutical product to healthy pregnant women despite the lack of any general population studies. Here are some of my major gripes and reasons why you might want to reject the flu vaccine in pregnancy:

  • Safety
    Closer review of the vaccine "safety studies" including this recent claim that the flu vaccine was not associated with low birth weight, reveals outcomes that are compromised by insufficient statistical power (small studies), short-term assessment periods, exclusion of fetal losses in analyses, incomplete control of confounding variables (that can raise incidence rates of bad outcomes in both groups), lack of laboratory confirmation of influenza, and focus on gross outcomes such as preterm birth rather than longer term neurodevelopmental.
  • Multiexposure
    The flu vaccine is prepared with egg proteins and associated unidentified viral DNA from this animal tissue, the allergen gelatin, polysorbate 80 which crosses the blood brain barrier, the carcinogen formaldehyde, the detergent triton x100, sucrose, resin, the antibiotic gentamycin, and thimerosol/mercury. Double talk of mercury exposure in pregnancy (don't eat sushi, get your vaccine!) is only one glaringly egregious example of the CDC's selective neglect of peer-reviewed published literature demonstrating profound harm associated with this neurotoxic metal.Mercury-containing vaccines are offered to pregnant women despite evidence as recent as last month which linked vaccine-related exposure to autism spectrum disorders. The unstudied role of these ingredients is compounded by the genome-altering effects of unquantified viral DNA from the cross-species preparation of this product. Multiple exposures through different vaccine preparations have never been studied, despite accumulating evidence of synergistic toxicity, mortality, and risk associated with other pregnancy-related vaccines such as DTaP.
  • Inflammation
    Perhaps the most concerning study I have come across implicated the influenza vaccination in a strong inflammatory response in pregnant woman. Here, the investigators identified significantly elevated CRP two days after vaccination and a similar (but non-significant) pattern for TNF-alpha. They address the notion of vulnerable subgroups as being more important than generalizable findings. For example, the most depressed women at the time of vaccination exhibited an increased inflammatory response to vaccination – suggestive of inflammatory priming by the depressed state or an impairment of the inflammatory attenuation that is typical of a pregnant state. Stating that this inflammation is preferable to that of a flu virus infection is hand waving assumption, and is guaranteeing an inflammatory response in a woman who may very well have been otherwise unaffected.
  • Fear-mongering
    Inflated risks of the flu in the pregnant population are the basis for aggressive propaganda. As Ayoub and Yazbak state:

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