Tag Archives: flu vaccine



Hello world!

This is what I’m trying to find out these days: can an old pall, such as vitamin D help us fight a new enemy – like the swine flu? And, if you haven’t read or heard about it yet, I’m happy that you do it now! What I can tell you so far is that the reading exercise on the subject is not easy as the reading material is extensive. I’m going to post again on the subject during the next few days as I’ll manage to gather my thoughts a bit more. For now, I’ll share with you how I’m navigating through this sea of information. 

So, I heard a rumor that vitamin D and sunshine can help fight against the flu. You know the link: if you’re out in the sun you’re skin naturally produces vitamin D. If you’re not having too much sun, say you’re in the wrong hemisphere or you spend lots of time inside, you can still get vitamin D from some food or you can take supplements. Here is a comprehensive site describing vitamin D and which are the products you can get it from. According to them the Chinook SALMON is the best source of vitamin D, followed by SHRIMPS, COW’S MILK, COD FISH and EGG. Btw, Wikipedia says that the Chinook salmon lives in the Pacific and it’s kind of scarce and, therefore, pricy, so I suggest we use this list just to get an idea of the kind of foods we should favor in our diet and leave the Chinook salmon swim happily in the Pacific. 

Moving on… I quickly searched PubMed “vitamin D influenza” and got about 30 hits… and that means published journal articles.  The role of vitamin D deficiency in an amazing number of diseases (such as cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, autism, among others) is far from being news these days, that was 5 years ago. Its role in preventing infections and influenza has been researched and published in established journals – although, speaking for myself, I had no idea about this until recently!

Check out this following para from On the epidemiology of influenza, by Cannell et al, 2008  (Virol J

“The evidence that vitamin D has profound effects on innate immunity is rapidly growing. In fact, Aloia and Li-Ng presented evidence of a dramatic vitamin D preventative effect from a randomized controlled trial (RCT). […] they discovered 104 post-menopausal African American women given vitamin D were three times less likely to report cold and flu symptoms than 104 placebo controls. A low dose (800 IU/day) not only reduced reported incidence, it abolished the seasonality of reported colds and flu. A higher dose (2000 IU/day), given during the last year of their trial, virtually eradicated all reports of colds or flu.  (Figure2)

Recent discoveries about vitamin D’s mechanism of action in combating infections led Science News to suggest that vitamin D is the “antibiotic vitamin” due primarily to its robust effects on innate immunity.”

Two concepts are among the building blocks of this paper: innate immunity and adaptive immunity. The adaptive immune system builds on the innate one (which is apparently evolutionary older). The innate system recognizes and responds to infections immediately but doesn’t “remember” the intruders, while the adaptive system is more specialized in the sense that it recognizes old enemies and responds to them more strongly each time. If you want, you can read the entire article online, free, just google it (personally, I think that if you can put up with a bit of scientific gibberish you’ll find it interesting). 

To the question of why the influenza mortality in the elderly has not declined during the past 20 years even though their vaccination rates did (!): 

“Given that influenza vaccines effectively improve adaptive immunity, the most likely explanation is that the innate immunity of the aged declined over the last 20 years due to medical and governmental warnings to avoid the sun. While the young usually ignore such advice, the elderly often follow it. We suggest that improvements in adaptive immunity from increased vaccination of the aged are inadequate to compensate for declines in innate immunity the aged suffered over that same time.”

Oh, and I love this sentence:

“Very recently, articles in mainstream medical journals have emphasized the compelling reasons to promptly diagnose and adequately treat vitamin D deficiency, deficiencies that may be the rule, rather than the exception, at least during flu season“.

And here is from Use of vitamin D in clinical practice, by Cannell and Hollis, 2008 (Altern Med Rev)

“The recent discovery–from a meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled trials–that supplemental cholecalciferol (vitamin D) significantly reduces all-cause mortality emphasizes the medical, ethical, and legal implications of promptly diagnosing and adequately treating vitamin D deficiency. Not only are such deficiencies common, and probably the rule, vitamin D deficiency is implicated in most of the diseases of civilization. Vitamin D’s final metabolic product is a potent, pleiotropic, repair and maintenance, seco-steroid hormone that targets more than 200 human genes in a wide variety of tissues, meaning it has as many mechanisms of action as genes it targets. One of the most important genes vitamin D up-regulates is for cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic. Natural vitamin D levels, those found in humans living in a sun-rich environment, are between 40-70 ng per ml, levels obtained by few modern humans. […] Three treatment modalities exist for vitamin D deficiency: sunlight, artificial ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, and vitamin D3 supplementation. […] Theoretically, pharmacological doses of vitamin D (2,000 IU per kg per day for three days) may produce enough of the naturally occurring antibiotic cathelicidin to cure common viral respiratory infections, such as influenza and the common cold, but such a theory awaits further science.”

You’ll also find good reading on this subject here:


which is beautifully researched, and here


both articles giving recommendations in terms of units/day needed to boost the system.

You can also read that the Public Health Agency in Canada takes seriously the possibility that swine flu can be fought with the help of vitamin D. Read more here

OK, I’ll leave the drawing board for now and let you think things over! Meanwhile, I’ll get busy during the next days to read on what are the best natural vitamin D supplements and try to schedule an appointment with a lab to check my vitamin D level.

Swine flu/new flu – what’s so new about it?


Hello world!

I guess I have more than one question – what’s so new about this swine flu AND should we get inoculated? I’m not talking about the mental inoculation, that’s happening already, slowly but surely, but should we get inoculated ALSO physically with the wonder-vaccine that’s now in the making? It seems that the name shifted from “swine flu” to “new flu” cause it’s a cocktail of swine, bird and human flu. That’s new! But what’s happening around it – I find that far from being new. The desire to manipulate the public opinion and reaction has been around for some time.    

I’ve been trying to answer my questions by reading this and that from online resources and main-stream media. The information out there is far from being consistent or comprehensive. Do you have a grasp of what’s happening?, cause I would love to hear it. The following is a brief summary of what I could read and my own opinions, so please treat it as such.

What I know is that the big Pharma have just few months to develop, test the efficacy and assess the side effects of the new vaccine. Is that enough time or…? Are we supposed to just trust they know what they are doing? Here are some things for consideration:

1) In 1976, there was a swine flu alert in the US that resulted in about 46 million people taking the vaccine shot. Not long after that few thousands of them accused neurological damages after the vaccination and claim financial compensation. Now, even if you are thinking that some of them were trying to make a buck, I would say it’s very unlikely that some thousands people would come up with such serious accusations without a real foundation. You can watch the CBS documentary on youtube


2) The World Health Organization (WHO) said that a global swine flu pandemic can be expected, but currently this flu is not more aggressive and does not result in a higher mortality than influenza. They also said that it might mutate -might- and become more aggressive. My knowledge on vaccine development is rather limited, but usually a vaccine includes strains of the virus it protects against. So, if the bugger mutates into another thing, how is the vaccine going to protect against the mutated version?

3) Which Pharma are working to develop the vaccine? Well, first of all, whoever it is, they are working under the blessing of the WHO. It’s Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Baxter… Hold on! Baxter?! Aren’t they..ah…?! Yes, the very same: in Spring of 2009, their facilities in Austria were involved in an incident where they shipped avian-flu vaccines ready to be used on the population to 18 countries. The incident was that these vaccines contained viable H5N1 virus strands (seems they should be inactive!) and were dangerous enough to KILL the entire lot of ferrets that were inoculated with this ready-to-be-used vaccine in a laboratory in the Czech Republic. Yeah, that’s right, the vaccine was supposed to be distributed in this form to the general population. The unfortunate incident was described by the company’s officials as a very regrettable accident!  And that was the end of it! I guess that my definition of accident goes as wide or as wild as breaking a glass or bumping into another car, but NOT dropping a bit of poison into somebody’s glass. Ooops, sorry, I thought it was cinnamon, wanted to spice up your wine a little… Anyways, joke aside, you can read it for yourselves, just Google”Baxter, march 2009, Austria”

Just follow the links below to find reading material on the subject:





4) I’m thinking: is there some big gain from making people really worried? Statements like: “we (the Government/ the Health Authority) are going to prioritize this category, this category and that one (say children, pregnant women and adults in a certain age category) because they are the most exposed and there are not enough doses yet for everybody” – what do they achieve? What is your natural reaction when you hear that? Something like “Oh, my God, what if they are not going to include me? What do I do then?!”? Probably! My guess is that you won’t be thinking – what will happen to those who get vaccinated, are there side effects for them? You just want to be included. Thus, by simply making you (us) gravitate around the fear that you’re not among the ‘chosen’ ones can beautiful take away the mind from wondering about unwanted effects.

5) There seems to be an aggressive campaign to convince people they should get vaccinated especially in the US and Western Europe but not in those countries with less money in their national wallet. Some might take this as the rich countries fighting harder and better to protect their citizens. Is it the only interpretation you can think off? Or could it be a slick way of convincing those well-off countries to spend some of their money on vaccines? Sweden, where I live, decided to buy enough for everybody – and if you think we are a small country… it’s still 9 million people x 2 doses/person. Similar decisions were made by the Netherlands, Germany, France. Speaking of France – I read that they are thinking a compulsory vaccination of everybody older than 3 months! Soooo… COMPULSORY! That means somebody is deciding for you to inoculate your body with a substance with unknown side effects or any kind of effects! Isn’t that scary? 



6) Let’s not abandon yet the subject of age: France gives the OK for all kids older than 3 months, whereas in Sweden I hear that the vaccine is not recommended for kids below the age of 2 years. At the same time, pregnant women should vaccinate. So, it’s not safe for kids under a certain age (and that age depends on the physical borders in Europe, that’s how biology works!) but OK for embryos/babies in the womb, ha?!   

7) When you read in the news a report about somebody in a serious condition due to swine-flu please check if there’s any mention on what was that person’s health before they got infected. Were they suffering from some illness, were they on some medication that could have been conflicting with the swine flu treatment they got, etc? I certainly can’t find that. Oh, I know, the newspaper has to protect the privacy of the patient, of course!

Now, before I would let anybody inject me with some stuff, I would like to know:

– what does it contain?

– what if the virus mutates – what is the vaccination worth then?

– what are the side effects?

– what does it protect me against?

– how were these last two questions answered: was it a lab test done on animals, was there a representative sample of people used – were they healthy individuals, were they young, were there children tested also – and for how long did they keep their subjects under observation? You know, sometimes the length of a study may be conveniently too short…


Be brave and think for yourself, whoever you may be!

Ionelu’s Angel

July 2009