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Forget the rush on that H1N1 swine flu vaccine; 62% of Americans have no intention of getting it anyway

H1N1 Flu Virus larger than life

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, who recently taught Americans the federally-approved way to sneeze this season, was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

She was trying to explain widespread delays in the delivery of the H1N1 vaccine across the country.

Basically, of course, she said it wasn't the Obama administration's fault, that as soon as the vaccines come in, they're being shipped out immediately by the many thousands of doses.

You know how everyone talks about Americans not making things anymore, that so many manufacturing jobs, for instance, have been shipped overseas?

Well, Sebelius was essentially saying the same goes for flu-vaccine-making.

Four of the world's five makers Democrat Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius demonstrates the federally approved way of sneezing noware foreign. And we all think we know what that means.

Members of Congress could have been exploring this subject last winter when their latest automatic pay raises took effect.

Instead, Wednesday they expressed shock and dismay at the situation now that it's October and thousands are already falling ill with the H1N1 virus (see photo above, shown somewhat larger than life).

Also, Purdue University researchers reported the late deliveries may not matter because by the end of this year 63% of Americans will be infected anyway. So, too many doses, too late.

But wait!  There's more.

This morning comes word from a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that almost four parents out of 10 do not believe the vaccine is safe and have no intention of allowing their children to receive it.

More than 60% of adults say they have no intention of getting the vaccine either.

Using an open-ended question, the poll also found the overwhelming reason for rejecting the vaccine this year despite federal warnings and mounting concern about the illness' seriousness was concern about side effects and disbelief in its safety, especially suspicions that it has been inadequately tested. Other reasons included general ignorance and a belief the illness was probably less serious than the danger of the vaccine.

So much for the persuasive powers of the U.S. federal government. Think about that for a minute: A whopping majority of Americans (62%) would rather risk illness than believe in their government's urgings of necessity and safety.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press (Sebelius demonstrates a federally-approved sneeze.)
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That's the best news I've read in a while. Just when I was beginning to believe the American people had lapsed into a complete political stupor, they do something so smart and prove me wrong. I hope that the same percentage (or more) disbelieve almost everything else their government is telling these days, as well.

I like the implication that the current administration is to blame for the nation's woeful mistrust of science. Subtle.

Most of the world questions the motives and ethicacy of the US government, so it is not difficult to understanding the reluctance of American citizens to accept information and direction from their own political leaders.

I suspect, however, that the reluctance to accept the H1N1 vaccine and vaccines in general is a direct result of a serious disconnect between the average citizen and their family doctor. In countries where seeing a doctor is covered by a universal healthcare system, patients and doctors maintain an ongoing relationship. In countries where visiting a doctor either costs $$$ or requires HMO approval (and all the hoops one has to jump through to qualify), it's easy to see how the internet and other nebulous sources for healthcare information can become predominant.

1) If you don't trust your government, what does that tell you about your political system and the process that you "the people" are supposed to be in control of?

2) Get your primary healthcare information from a doctor who knows you and your individual family members - a doctor that has earned your trust through a long term professional relationship. The internet is a good place to verify information you have received or to formulate questions for your doctor, but it *is not* a substitute for the qualified advice and information that a trusted physcian will dispense.

Many may be able to skate through this second wave of H1N1 with little or no serious ramifications other than a few days in bed and some individual short term misery. Others, as has already been demonstrated will not survive this illness without being vaccinated.

What are you going to do for the next disease that will arrive someday and proves to be far more lethal? If you misguidedly convince yourself today that vaccines are inherently unsafe, you set the stage for a real disaster down the road.

Also keep in mind, vaccines curtail the spread of disease through the population. As a citizen of that population, you have a moral obligation to do all that you can to prevent infecting someone else. I am sure that President Roosevelt would be singing a different tune if he were here today. You haven't had to suffer through Polio in this life because of a vaccine.

Well I want it. Still waiting for it to show up, then I have to wait until the higher-risk people are all offered it. The fewer people get it, the more I want it because it's tough to avoid sick people and everything they touch.

Let's hear it for the 62% of American's who have more than 9 brain cells working in tandem, therefore making the correct 'decision' about the flu vaccines!

The H1N1 Swine flu vaccine is POISON. That's right.....I said POISON. Not only does it contain Thimerosal (Mercury, at dangerously high levels) but aluminum and squalene(MF 59), an adjuvant, which was added to the ANTHRAX vaccine given to Desert Storm soldiers causing permanent neurological damage. On top of not being tested (except on human guinea pigs...aka: the human poplulation) the pharmaceuticals stand to make *Billions*, especially Novartis. In my opinion, this is the beginning of genocide...."Depopulation by Innoculation*. Anyone who believes the government is looking out for *YOUR* best interest, needs to get a reality check....BIG TIME! Do your own research and then decide for yourself, like I did. The global elitists of the world want to get rid of the less desireables and what an ingenious plan. Also the vaccine makers are exempt monitarily IF anyone comes forward to say the vaccine caused an illness, thanks to Kathleen....Gee, thanks Kathleen, now my child is autistic thanks to pushing this flu vaccine and I can't sue the manufacturer.
The *Sheeple* are nearing the slaughter. I for one, will BE *Exempt*.

So what's the problem? If there's a vaccine shortage but 62 percent don't want it anyway then it seems like everybody is happy, why is your tone so negative? And all polls are good for is to show how dumb and paranoid people are anyway.

I'm a healthcare worker. a regular flu shot is really all I need.

I've trained myself to the point now that I can catch myself before I absently wipe my nose or eyes or scratch my face with my hands. hand and forearm washings with regular soap, no need for antibacterial. I always carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with me.

a good diet with extra servings of fruits and veggies and keeping active.

that's all you need. oh and a lot of common sense.

The reaction of the American people to this most recent outbreak of illness reflects a genuine reason to be concerned. Lack of faith in the leadership of our national government is rampant since the Nixon administration. Both Democrats and Republicans accept only that information from Washington, D.C. which confirms their prior beliefs. Americans believe in the existence of supernatural beings and aliens more than in science upon which we all rely because almost everything has become politicized, including vaccinations.

Where does this all lead? Certainly, not to a better place.

Bottom line as a parent: Thimerosal "might", "could", "theoretically", "in labratory studies" cause autism or any host of neurological problems in small children.

But, flu might, could, possibly, cause death.

That said, there are 1,000's of more autistic and mentally ill kids running around these days, than those that die from flu in any given year.

Maybe it's a diagnosis issue, maybe it's something else, maybe...maybe...

Bottom line. This well-educated, non-conspiracy theory believing, I'd like to think normal parent is going to pass on the flu vaccine for my kids. Get rid of the Thimerosal and all the other 15-syllabic words nicknamed "preservatives" that google links to websites that deal with autism or mental illness in children, then maybe I'll chance it

Finally, my wife asked the nurse practicioner at out doctors about Thimerosal - her comment, "Don't quote me, but I won't give it to my kids..."

All four Obamas need to be vaccinated publicly, on TV, at a media photo-op. The President can give a pep talk. But obviously that can't be done until there's enough supply for everyone--which may never happen.

I have decided not to get the H1N1 vaccine because I'm a healthy 59-year-old and that dose should go to a pregnant woman or a child. But I keep checking the Internet so I'll know as soon as ANYONE around here gets the vaccine and my teenagers can get their shots.

So funny how people credit their own intelligence for simply buying into paranoia. We've been getting vaccinations in this country for how long? How many diseases have become scarce in that time (only to make a resurgence now in the midst of this madness)? Since we're only living longer these days, it seems like those sinister powers must be really bad at their attempts at decimation.

This is nothing more than frightened people picking a target to focus their fear upon, because not knowing what you're actually afraid of is even more frightening. I even feel conflicted myself when offered vaccines at work; that is, until I think about how many people I actually know who've been hurt more by a vaccine than illness - that is, NONE.

The vaccine doesn't work. I repeat: the vaccine does not work. There have never been any placebo-controlled, double blind, randomized trials of the vaccine. The only studies done to demonstrate the efficacy of the flu vaccine are cohort studies, which are vulnerable to countless statistical errors.

The statistics have been reviewed by leading scientists on the subject and they agree that there has been no drop in mortality due to flu vaccine. Indeed several times in recent history an outdated vaccine was deployed and given to the population. Did mortality rise as a result (since people are effectively not vaccinated against the active flu strain)? Nope. Mortality stayed exactly the same, clearly demonstrating the falsehood that the flu vaccine does anything whatsoever.

Tamiflu is also completely ineffective. In a true pandemic we would be utterly defenseless.

This is why it's important to actually review and understand the science behind the claims.

A lot of this thoroughly explained in an article titled "Does the Vaccine Matter?" In the November 2009 issue of The Atlantic. If you value your health I suggest you read it. Immediately.

Scarecrow! What a bunch of garbage! It's not my duty to ensure people stay healthy. If I don't want to get a death jab, then that is my right! If I want to walk down the street, then that is my right. If somebody wants to get stuck out of FEAR of getting sick, then that is their right. My rights end where yours begin and that doesn't cover fictitious viruses. If you want to do your civic duty and prevent the "pandemic" from spreading. then it is you who should stay home and get a shot. That is your duty to me! See how stupid that sounds?

I've already had H1N1, as has my wife and family. It went around the kids school, and with one exception it was 3-4 days of coughing, stuffy noses, and moderate temperatures. Adults of kids at the school also had body aches. Last Friday one child developed pneumonia (out of hundreds), was hospitalized and tested, and it was swine flu going around.

We had no plans to be innoculated, and usually ride out each flu season with minor consequences. Vitamin C and D-3 (megadoses) help a lot.

bottom line, nobody died, only one major illness at school, and as for my family, we thought it was a cold until a few days ago.

It appears Americans now realize the meaning behind the old saying "fool me once.., shame on you, fool me twice..., shame on me". There is nothing trustworthy about the US Government. How could you have trust in a system that brings to you such characters as Nancy, Barney, Hillary and Ted. Obama too wrapped up in Boxer and Berneke. Great names for a comic strip, lousy personalities for leadership..., wait a second..., this is a comic strip!

Scarecrow - I live in Canada, where we do have tax financed medical care. My doctor recommends AGAINST getting the flu shot (any flu shot, not just the ones for H1N1). He points to the lack of any real evidence that its effective, and the fact that the producers of the vaccines are protected against litigation in both the US and Canada. My four year old daughter has autism, and while there is no proven connection (yet) we'll forgo the vaccine for her, and the rest of us are very unlikely to get it (even though I'm 52 and have asthma).

Since everything governments say are lies and since everything they have are stolen, not believing the urgings of government is only natural. It is a shame only 62% are skeptical of what comes out of the government. It looks like compulsory indoctrination works about 38% of the time.
Why should I believe someone who will accept no responsibility for the damage if the advice given is bad? Why should I accept the assurances of people who are protected from liability for the ill effects caused by their product?
All of these Chicken Littles in the media assume there is no other way to prevent getting the flu than taking a shot. I doubt that. It is just that this is the only way for some government-connected companies can make a lot of risk-free money from it.

Though I have a cronic illness, I have already turned down the flu shot when offered by my doctor. He understood my reasons and didn't push the subject. I didn't ask if he got a flu shot. Yet I see many in the medical field are leery of this shot and have turned it down. I trust the medical field that doesn't have politcal cause than I do a government that has a history of scare tactics.

"A whopping majority of Americans (62%) would rather risk illness than believe in their government's urgings of necessity and safety."

Yes, ~60% of adults won't get the vaccine, just like last year. But an ABC poll cannot be your source for citing the reason! Many people like myself just do not get a flu vaccine each year because we don't care, not because we think the government is out to get us.

Vaccination is usually only strongly suggested for young people or old people due to the risk of serious complications (in older people) or the risk of spreading more rapidly (for younger people in school).

Of the 60 million Americans who get the flu each year (CDC's largest estimate), 200 thousand are hospitalized for some reason. This is ~ 0.3% of those who are infected & less than 0.07% of the total US population! So with 99.93% of the population not needing serious medical attention for flu-related problems it's no wonder that only 40% of adults get the vaccine.

All #s here are cited from an American Association for Family Practice article (they cite from the CDC)

i spent about 5 hours at the local health department working on the phone system. in all that time only 6 mothers showed up with their children.

The government lied about WMD's in Iraq and al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
The authors of the 9/11 commission report have disavowed their own report because they say they were stonewalled and lied to by government officials.
The government lied about letting the Patriot Act expire.
The government lied about the economy in order to shovel $700 billion to banks.
The government lied about the necessity of a "stimulus" package.
The government lies every election cycle, promising anything to get elected.

Is it any wonder why 62% of Americans distrust government, especially with the free flow of information exposing these government lies in practically real time? Why shouldn't we believe that the government is again lying?

The nature of government is to take manufactured or real crises, whip the people into a hysteria, and expand. When it expands, it must necessarily take away our freedoms and damage our prosperity. Why shouldn't we believe that there is a sinister agenda behind the vaccination frenzy? The legitimacy of government is wearing thin and its charades are easily exposed on the internet. The familiar game plan of hyping a crisis, sowing chaos, and seizing control no longer works when Americans don't have to rely on mainstream media for information.

Ever wonder why we have a drug problem in America? Just listen to the media! And to think this administration is anti-corporation. The very profitable corporations that make the drugs everyone is screaming for!

Got a problem? Just take a drug!! Tell your kids "just say no", them drag them down to the clinic to "take some drugs". No wonder our kids are screwed up.

Come on folks, lets quit letting the media, government and whoever else control our lives. Do your own thinking, take care of your family and just stay healthy!

Yes, I love it! Americans are finally waking up. Here's to you government, for royally screwing up. I thank you.

I have read the ingredients for this "vaccine".
Washed sheep's blood for instance is not something I want swimming around in my veins.
Also, ask your doctor if he or she has taken the shot. Ask to have them sign an affidavit saying the shot is safe, if your own doctor will not sign it, then you'll know for sure.

I hope Americans are seeing the gov for what it is, lying, scheming, and forcefully attempting to control all aspects of our lives.
Perhaps the sleeping giant is awakening.

Oh god I was just going to comment on the article but some of the comments are pathetic in their ignorance.

There's nothing especially dangerous in vaccines. Mercury is a neurotoxin that must build up in your system over long periods of time. If you are concerned about your levels of mercury, go get your blood tested for it and other heavy metals and if you're levels are high you have plenty of time to get chelation or some other treatment to lower them before serious damage is done.

I'm not going to bother with this particular vaccine because swine flu isn't all that serious. But I'm praying that a more serious disease comes along to wipe out the morons preaching about the evils of vaccines. Natural selection weeding out the incurably stupid would be good for the human race.

The virus has mutated anyway. On Nov 28th the WHO came out with the fact that the vaccine prob. wouldnt work on the mutated strain. Therefor, taking the risk of side effects is for people that dont read up and study what is going on.

As far as government agenda's go.. Its all around the world baby. Its not just Republicans or democrats or the USA.. its everywhere. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

We all make our decisions based on the information we decide to seek. If ya want to go with the herd, then you will. If you cant be bothered to study a bit.. so be it. Just do not try to force me to join you in your choices. I have no respect for those who parrot what they have heard. Iv seen it for years.. Dont bother to study, just repeat what you heard. Wooo , you can feel smart without any effort! Do I feel guilty for not joining your herd so that you can feel more protected ? No... I wouldnt follow you over a cliff either....


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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