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Live webchat with Professor David Salisbury, Dept of Health director of immunisation, Mon, November 2, 1pm(318 Posts)
We're very pleased to have Professor David Salisbury, the Department of Health's director of immunisation, as our guest for a live webchat this Friday, 30 Oct, at 1pm.
Professor Salisbury, who originally trained as a paediatrician, and also works extensively for the World Health Organisation including his role as chairman of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Vaccines, is a timely guest given that the swine flu vaccination
programme is now being rolled out. Pregnant women are one of the first 'at-risk' groups being offered the jab.
There has already been a large amount of discussion about the vaccine, so this is your chance to put your questions, concerns and comments to the government's top vaccines expert.
As usual, if you can't join us on the day, please post your question here and Prof Salisbury will try to answer as many as possible.
Dr. Salisbury, I am pregnant and I am now in week 28. Would you recommend to do the whooping cough vaccination? I am from Switzerland and I know that in our country they don't recommend it at all. Does this vaccination harm the baby?
Thank you very much for your advice.
Swine Flu has now been added to the Flu shot in the UK. The Flu vaccine has now been officially listed as a Category C drug (US).
What does this mean exactly?
Category C is for drugs that do not have enough human or animal studies to establish safety, OR adverse fetal effects have been seen in animal studies but there is little human data.
According to FDA:
"Category C drugs are drugs that are more likely to cause problems for the mother or fetus. Also includes drugs for which safety studies have not been finished. The majority of these drugs do not have safety studies in progress...Thimerasol-containing vaccines are considered hazardous waste and can't be thrown into a garbage can, poured down a sink or flushed down a toilet because of the mercurythey're considered environmentally toxic. Yet, they want to inject them into your baby? "
"Not only do flu shots weaken your immune system, expose you to toxins, and cause allergies and other adverse reactions, they don't work....
MNHQ - Is Prof Salisbury coming back to answer our questions?
Ooh, just found that new emoticon!
The pre-existing label I used is because a third of us carry this bacteria but for most it is not a problem. The relevance is the state of one's health and risk from Swine Flu complications.
The thing is to be aware of health and to feel empowered to do something about it. We all know about ciggies and alcohol, but not so many know about the dangers of medication in otherwise healthy folk. Also we are very much in the dark about the dangers of certain processed 'foods' and sugar and the amazing qualities of other real foods.
I founded a Natural Health Network for Parents and Health Care Practitioners called Arnica. www.arnica.org.uk I hope it is OK to mention it. We have a thriving Yahoo group and 40 UK local groups where we want to learn more about health naturally.
It is great to see such debate here and the Swine Flu has provided general interest. However, many other diseases are hyped and vaccines are given unnecessarily. Of the dozens of shots your toddler will be recommended are they all safe and effective and necessary? Lots of work is being done at the moment to find alternatives to aluminum in vaccines for example..
"The development of a vaccine with mutant Aβ peptides that avoids the use of an adjuvant may result in an effective and safer human vaccine."
I hope that we can change the tide in this country where most of us give all vaccines, take all medications offered and use products to bring down a fever and suppress a rash. Keep on asking..
Here is some more from the Dr Mercola site.
"Id also like to know how many flu deaths might be attributed to antibiotic-resistant staph infections.
The New Scientist featured a recent poll of medics saying around half of them wouldn't be taking the vaccine. Can't find the link but it's on their website if anyone wants to look.
Interesting about the GP revolt - mine said he would not be having it
'And all the 36 children in the US who died during the period detailed in my earlier post had a pre-exsisting bacterial infection, which possibly was antibiotic resistant'
Where did you get that information Arnica? As far as I can see the evidence suggests those children died from bacterial pneumonia, triggered by SF. How do you know the bacterial infections were 'pre-existing'?
its seems that the Frontline NHS staff are revoltion over this . take a look at this Pulse article, GPs are refusing on mass.
this quote pretty much sums it up .
Dr Liz Miller, a locum GP in London, said she would not recommend the vaccine to her patients because of safety concerns: I do not intend to be vaccinated, nor will I recommend it to patients. It is untested and unnecessary. Its time doctors started thinking for themselves instead of mindlessly obeying the Department of Health because they are terrified of missing out on free money.
its a shame we did not have this info before Salisburys cosy chat.
I was unable to take part in the webchat on Monday but wanted to add a question related to an earlier question about women who are planning to become pregnant that I don't think has been answered yet (although I may have missed it in the long thread).
Are there any plans to extend the vaccination programme to women of childbearing potential once the already prioritised at-risk groups have received their vaccinations?
I accept that there is a favourable risk benefit profile for these vaccines being offered to pregnant women due to the exceptional circumstances of a pandemic and the risk of significant complications in pregnant women plus the fact that there is a certain amount of established use in that (different) seasonal flu vaccines have been safely given to women for a number of years.
It is not desirable, however, to give pregnant women vaccines and medications, especially ones for which there is little in the way of clinical or pharmacovigilance data.
Given that the government has already ordered enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone in the country, would it not make sense to extend the priority programme who may be planning to become pregnant so that we can avoid vaccinating pregnant women where possible (whilst continuing to vaccinate women who are already pregnant of course)?
My own situation is that I have not yet been vaccinated and have miscarried since the vaccination programme started but plan to become pregnant again as soon as possible. My GP has declined my request for vaccination because I am not pregnant. I do understand and accept the reasons for this but I do feel that this issue warrants further consideration and a publication of the decision and rationale.
It would also be useful to know if (and when) there are any plans to publish interim results from the planned registry studies in pregnant women in order to assist women in their decisions about whether to accept the offer of vaccination should the pandemic continue for an extended period of time.
I hope you will be able to respond to my question, thank you.
Hmm still not sure if pregnant women with underlying health conditions, particularly autoimmune should be having this vaccine.
Dr Salisbury as you are coming back with responses to all the questions you missed previously, could you respond to these:
Do you accept you have no idea of the impact of swine flu vaccine on the incidence of GBS?
Are you happy that the level of mercury in Pandemrix is around about or may exceed the safe level for a newborn baby? Is this why newborn babies are not recommended for vaccination?
With regard to GBS, we shouldn't forget that the government is treating the swine flu vaccine program as an experiment. They do not know how many cases of GBS it could cause and have instructed that monitoring :
"is essential for conducting robust epidemiological analyses capable of identifying whether there is an increased risk of GBS in defined time periods after vaccination, or after influenza itself, compared with the background risk."
That means that however many reassurances we get, Dr Salisbury simply doesn't know how many cases of GBS could be caused by the vaccine. That's why they are asking. They don't know. The reassurances are meaningless.
Arnica, if you're still on this thread I'd love to see where you got your facts on your post of Mon 02-Nov-09 23:07:41. I've consulted pregnant/ midwife friends in France and Germany, and both you and Beachcomber are saying pretty much what they've told me.
When I was preg with no1, nobody mentioned the flu vaccine, despite the fact that I gave birth during the flu season. Why should swine flu be any different? If it affects young people more, that counts me out (I'm 35!).
Also the statistics which Prof Salisbury provided on the percentage of people dying from SF being preg are potentially misleading as one tends to swallow the numbers (5-30%! Gulp!) and not think about what this means. For example, if up to 30% of (how many deaths in the UK? 100-ish? 120?) were pregnant, and the majority of them were 'young', how does that change the potential risk for me? And what about the other many pregnant SF sufferers who did not die? This number will far outweigh the number of pregnancy-related deaths, and it's imperative that statistics are balanced out in this way so that we can treat them intelligently. Sorry, Prof Salisbury, I genuinely don't mean to be offensive here, but presenting statistics in any other way is a form of trickery.
Arnica I very much agree with what you are saying about examining info from outside the UK.
I live in France and although we are being subjected to much scarmongering, media hype and marketing, there are quite a few sensible professionals who clearly express their incredulity at the idea that the mass vaccination of populations against, a so far not very virulent disease, with an experimental vaccine, is in any way justified.
Here, for example, is an article from the National Nurses Trade Union. (I'm afraid it is in French).
Basically it is saying that it is the duty of nurses to inform the public that H1N1 has so far only proven dangerous in France for people with underlying conditions or who picked up antibiotic resistant infections.
They say that the use of new adjuvants (squalene and polysorbate) makes this vaccine experimental. They state that such an adjuvant is linked with autoimmune diseases and that the vaccine risks provoking Gullian Barre Syndrome.
Really they are saying that they want to have nothing to do with such a vaccine and they are saying it loud and clear with no beating about the bush.
There was a well known doctor saying exactly the same things on national French television last week. (And nobody was able to argue against him.)
Interview with Dr Russell Blaylock
Neurologist specialist for 30 years
Pregnant Women NOT at Special Risk from Swine Flu - PLEASE READ & LISTEN TO THIS LINK
Healthy non smokers are at such a low risk form flu complications!
"So, why did even 66 pregnant women end up in the ICU? As we shall see in the American study5, a significant number of these pregnant women were either obese or morbidly obese and most had underlying medical problems (and insulin dependence).
It is known that smoking greatly increases ones risk of severe complications from any flu virus.18,19 This is for several reasons. One, smokers eat a much poorer diet than non-smokers.
...Second, smoking destroys the cilia in the bronchial passageways that are essential for clearing mucus and debris -- thus increasing the risk of developing pneumonia.20
Finally, nicotine is a very powerful immune suppressant.21 The combined effect of all three is enough to land anyone in the ICU during even a mild flu season. Likewise, chronic smokers have low magnesium levels, which increase their risk of developing bronchiospasm that is resistant to normal drug treatments.22-24"
Pregnant mums are no more likely to suffer complications with swine flu as with seasonal flu. The 2 deaths of pregnant mums in the UK were in otherwise ill mums detailed in my previous post.
And all the 36 children in the US who died during the period detailed in my earlier post had a pre-exsisting bacterial infection, which possibly was antibiotic resistant, and most had serious underlying immune issues of a neurological nature.
If you would have had the flu vaccine during your pregnancy, presumably you would be interested in the Swine flu vaccine.
If your child has a pre existing neurological condition then you may view the risk v benefit of the swine flu differently.
For the rest of us, there does not seem to be a valid reason to have the vaccine.
Indeed Germany especially is very wary with many health officials speaking out against it. Google and you will see how the rest of the world is viewing this vaccine.
e.g. German health expert warning: Does virus vaccine increase cancer risk? --German health expert Wolfgang Wodarg has given a shock warning about the swine flu virus vaccine - does it increase the risk of cancer?
http://www.theflucase.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=406%3Agerman-healt h-expert-issues-shock-swine-flu-vaccine-safety-warning&catid=41%3Ahighlighted-news&Itemid=105〈 =en
sorry for the crazy long address!
Really, the science for the swine flu vaccine is not water tight. Dr Salisbury is the UK Head of Immunization, respect of course, but he is not the only 'expert' in the world.
A bit of common sense and intuition is allowed here, don't forget that Mums!
Can anyone explain Dr Salisburuy's comment in his very first post re. justifying the choice of the adjuvanted vaccine:
''Next the adjuvant in vaccine will probably protect for much longer and should protect you if the flu virus mutates as flu viruses do''
If the virus mutates how will previously having an adjuvanted vaccine help the body launch an immune attack against an antigen it hasn't yet met?
Ohyoubadkitten, I was quoting Dr Salisbury with the 'got lucky' comment.
Who knows perhaps the US population has got lucky. Firstly if they aren't having squalene containing vaccines pushed on them. Secondly if they do have a 'shortage' then fewer people will be given an experimental vaccine for a disease, which so far, has proven itself to be considerably less virulent than your common or garden seasonal flu.
Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer for England, spoke out against protests aimed at deterring people from having the jab. We have had a lot of unfair public criticism and attacks in an attempt to scare people about a vaccine thats potentially life-saving, he added.
We have seen it before with vaccines like MMR [the combined jab for measles, mumps and rubella], and now extremists are doing the same thing again.
I (and others) posted these links on another thread previously. They might be useful to people wanting to read more detailed information about the data available for the vaccines:
www.emea.europa.eu/ click on the product names and then look at the patient information leaflet or, if you want more information, the summary of product characteristics.
If you want even more detail about the studies carried out then see:
then click on scientific discussion - this is really useful as you can see how the vaccines were evaluated and the information on vulnerable groups as it stands at the moment.
I'm amazed that the Squalene/ GB syndrome issue was not even touched upon
Still would be very interested to hear a response to Janeb22's excellent post.
As the decision for the US not to use squalene has exacerbated their vaccine shortage tremendously, I'm not sure they have 'got lucky'.
This was my first experience of the Mumsnet live webchat (& actually the first time I have ever posted a message on any website). Have to say I am very disappointed.
Like many of the mums I posted what I thought was a fairly simple request for actual statistics that I honestly expected the Doc. to be able to provide. At the very least I thought we would be told where we could find the stats on the internet.
I am shocked at how few answers were provided when so many took the time to attend.
Missed the actual webchat.
I can see why non-swine flu questions weren't answered but it's a bit disappointing. Makes the whole thing feel to me like a governmental PR exercise.
So it would appear that there is nothing to be said about the lamentable system for reporting adverse reactions to vaccines, mercury is no more dangerous than water, and the US 'got lucky' cos they made the decision not to use squalene and it worked out.
As far as I'm concerned the most useful information was about the biscuits.
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