Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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December 11, 2003

Flu Mist anyone?

As the press tells us that flu vaccines are running low all over the United States, there is some talk of using the newly developed "Flu Mist" preparation, which differs from the usual influenza vaccines in two ways. First of all, it does not require a needle to administer but is sprayed right into the nasal cavity. Secondly, it contains not dead but live strains of virus and apparently not one, but THREE strains.

Traditionally, the CDC in the US has been working closely with vaccine manufacturers to make sure the vaccines are distributed and are taken by the maximum number of people. Clearly, the same is happening in this year's "flu season". However, if you are considering getting a dose or know someone else who is, please read Jenny Thompson's latest e-Alert first. Read down to the very end of the articles, to get some idea about PREVENTION that's not based on injecting a largely toxic concoction.

Does This Smell Bad?

Health Sciences Institute e-Alert

December 10, 2003


Dear Reader,

You've probably heard the news by now: Doctors are running low on flu vaccines and are expected to run out completely before the flu season winds down. In one of the TV reports I saw, the commentator asked, "How could this happen?" And I had to laugh. How could it happen?

Hmmm... let's put on our thinking caps and try real hard to figure it out. Could it possibly be because nearly every TV news broadcast for the past month has been saying that this will be the worst flu season in years and everyone needs to drop what they're doing - RIGHT NOW! - and go get a flu shot?

Making this news all the more dire is the fact that the final drop of flu vaccine has already been shipped out, so once the vaccine supply is used up, no more vaccine can be produced until next year. But before you barricade yourself in your home, vowing to stay safe inside until the flu season has passed, rest assured that there JUST HAPPENS to be an alternative to the dwindling vaccine supplies.

Come and get it!

Remember FluMist? It's the nasal-spray flu vaccine I first told you about in the e-Alert "Nose Candy" (7/8/03). Unlike the conventional flu shot, which contains inactivated flu strains, FluMist contains three living flu strains. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calls FluMist "live attenuated influenza
vaccine" or LAIV. In other words, the three strains are diluted. They're alive as you or me, but watered down.

Now - a show of hands - how many would feel comfortable inhaling not one, not two, but THREE LIVING flu strains? Not too many, is my guess. Which is probably one of the main reasons why ABC News has described sales of FluMist as "disappointing." Disappointing so far, anyway.

According to the Washington Post, the CDC gave FluMist a nice little boost last week when a statement was released "reminding" the public that FluMist is an appropriate alternative to the flu
shot for those who are both healthy and between the ages of 5 and 49. Then on Monday, CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding made appearances on several national news broadcasts (including ABC and CNN) and mentioned that a large supply of FluMist is still available.

Now is it just me and my cynical streak, or does it seem somehow to be a very, let's say "interesting," coincidence that the country has been plunged into this supposedly dire emergency of vaccine shortage in the same year that a major new vaccine product is launched? No one I know has said they haven't been able to get a flu shot. And I haven't read about any doctors turning away patients who have requested a shot. But if the CDC says the supply is low, then I suppose the supply is low. And if the CDC says that the supply of FluMist is high, then I'm sure the supply is high.

What Dr. Gerberding didn't mention is that FluMist costs more than twice the amount of the flu shot. And because of this much steeper cost, many insurance companies won't offer coverage for FluMist. But that's only part of the FluMist problem.

Pig in a poke

As I stated in the July e-Alert, there's a long list of potential problems with FluMist, but one of the key problems is the fact that those who decide to sniff living viruses into their heads instantly become infected by the flu. The immune system then responds by creating more antibodies that, in theory, will fight off any full-strength flu strains that might come along. But in the meantime, there's a possibility that those who are recently FluMisted could be (I'll bet you already guessed it) contagious!

Nice. Just what we need in the middle of a supposed flu epidemic: more contagious people running around.

Of course, the makers of FluMist (MedImmune, a subsidiary of the drug giant Wyeth) play down the possibility of their product spreading the flu, stating that only a very small percentage of FluMist users will actually transmit a virus. Nevertheless, according to a report in Knight-Ridder Newspapers, the CDC cautions those who get a FluMist vaccine to stay away from people with vulnerable immune systems, such as the elderly or those struggling with diseases, for one week. But is one week long enough? Some hospitals are telling their personnel to allow three full weeks between their FluMist vaccine and contact with hospital patients.

Why the discrepancy? My guess is that this is such a new vaccine that no one really knows the parameters yet. Nevertheless, the CDC seems to be going out of their way to help MedImmune move their struggling product.

Add to that; the CDC web site states: "The optimal time to receive influenza vaccine is usually in October or November." So if they're using the same calendar I'm using, we're already 10 days past the optimal usage period.

And add to that; the people who supposedly need a flu vaccine the most - the elderly, and those with immune system diseases - shouldn't be taking FluMist at all. The FDA hasn't approved it for them. So the CDC is pressing those who are least vulnerable to the flu to run out and get a snootful of this expensive and relatively untested product, even though it's almost two weeks past the optimal timing for the vaccine to even work!

Does any of this smell bad to you?

Bouncing back

Without question, many are going to come down with the flu or some other unpleasant virus this season. Tomorrow I'll leave the cares and woes of vaccines behind to take a look at some of the natural treatments that can help you kick a viral illness, while giving your immune system every advantage to do its best work. And they even work in December!


"Questions and Answers About Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (Trade Name FluMist)" Centers for Disease Control,

"Be Cautious, FluMist Users" Richard Harkness, Knight Ridder Newspapers, 12/4/03,

"MedImmune Poised as Flu Spreads" The Washington Post, 12/8/03,

"CDC Director: 'Doing Everything We Can' to Distribute Flu Vaccine" CNN, 12/8/03,

See also related:

MedImmune wants to make flu vaccine mandatory for children

Treatment of the flu with massive doses of vitamin C

Flu vaccine a misty promise

Flu shots - how useful are they?

Time for the Flu Vaccine?

Alternatives to the Flu Vaccine

Medical Liars - Vaccines

Use of the inactivated intranasal influenza vaccine and the risk of Bell's palsy in Switzerland


DECEMBER 11. The following release is from Dawn Richardson at PROVE, Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education. Actually, the release is longer. I’m reprinting an excerpt. In five paragraphs it gives you more than a whole range of mountains of crap printed by the mainstream media.

“The new live virus vaccine (FLUMIST), which is squirted up the nose, was licensed by the FDA in June 2003 for use in healthy individuals between the ages of five and 50. It is not recommended for pregnant women or those with asthma, chronic lung or heart disease; chronic underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or kidney disorders; immune suppression or immune system problems; children or adolescents receiving aspirin therapy, anyone allergic to eggs; or those with a history of Guillain Barre syndrome. It should not be given simultaneously with other vaccines.

”FLUMIST's vaccine live virus is shed after vaccination so the vaccinated are advised to avoid close contact with immune compromised individuals for at least 21 days. Some hospital personnel are asking those recently vaccinated with FLUMIST to avoid visiting patients in hospitals to prevent the risk of transmitting the vaccine strain virus to sick patients. The most common reactions to the live flu vaccine are similar to the flu: runny nose, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, and weakness.

”The killed flu vaccine, which is injected, has historically been used in individuals over 60 years old who are at high risk for dying or becoming seriously ill during a bout with the flu. However, in recent years, the CDC has been asking all age groups to get an annual flu shot and now recommends that all healthy children older than 6 months of age get an annual flu shot.

”Contraindications for the killed flu vaccine are: fever, an impaired immune system, egg allergy, mercury allergy or a history of Guillain Barre syndrome. In the past, pregnancy was a contraindication but now the CDC recommends flu vaccine for women more than 14 weeks pregnant. However this recommendation is controversial since most flu vaccines still contain the mercury preservative, Thimerosal, and mercury has been associated with brain damage and developmental delays in fetuses whose mothers were exposed to high levels of mercury during pregnancy.

”The most common reactions to killed flu vaccine are fever, fatigue, painful joints and headache. The most serious reported reaction, which usually occurs within two weeks of vaccination, is Guillain Barre syndrome, an immune mediated nerve disorder characterized by muscle weakness, numbness, pain and paralysis.”

So this is what you have to go through to get a vaccine that offers no particular protection against the flu.



And here some tips for flu prevention:

The Big 3

Health Sciences Institute e-Alert

December 11, 2003


Dear Reader,

Amid all the dire reports about flu vaccines running low, you'll rarely see a TV reporter point out (I assume because it wasn't in the drug company press release) that your defense against the flu is only as strong as the state of your immune system. Get all the flu shots you like (if only they had them); if your immune system isn't prepared, you'll still be vulnerable to the flu.

But what if you take every step necessary to strengthen your immune system, and then still come down with a nasty bug? Fortunately, some of the treatments that can help you stay well can also help you bounce back when you're laid low.

First response

During this season that puts us in contact with so many people while socializing or shopping, it's inevitable that many are going to come down with the flu or one of those other viruses that cause colds and digestive "bugs" that are so easily passed around.

With that in mind, I called on HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., to ask him about three natural antibiotics that he told us about in the e-Alert "Be Afraid... Be Very Afraid - Part II" (10/17/02). I wondered if these three natural agents (vitamin C, grapefruit seed extract, and olive leaf extract) might also help provide protection against the flu or be useful as treatments once the flu has set in. His response: "In my opinion, absolutely! Since I don't take the flu shot myself, these are my main armamentarium."

When I asked about recommended dosages for anyone who feels like they may be coming down with something, Dr. Spreen told me that at the fist sign of aches, sore throat, cough or any other
symptoms of flu (or cold, or other infections), he starts with a "hit" of several thousand milligrams of vitamin C, and then follows that with 1000 mg (one gram) every hour until symptoms recede.

Sometimes the vitamin C alone will do the trick, but when more is needed, olive leaf extract (OLE) and/or grapefruit seed extract (GSE) may be added or used alone. Dr. Spreen explained, "OLE is the simplest to work with, as its concentration is not a problem. 500-1000 milligrams every few hours is what I do, with or without the C, depending on the situation (I'm usually a 'shotgunner' when getting well fast is an issue). Normally, for straight oral use, the C and OLE are a great pair by themselves (the OLE lowers the needed amount of vitamin C, which can get into very high amounts for a serious flu attack)."

Calling in the reserves

As for grapefruit seed extract, Dr. Spreen recommends taking it in capsule form, using the suggested dosage on the label. He adds, "The full-strength liquid GSE is bitter beyond comprehension, and must be diluted. The advantage of GSE is that there are different forms available, such as throat spray, ear drops, topical, etc. Bio/chem Research in California, has done extensive research on the antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiparasitic properties of this amazing substance."

I asked Dr. Spreen if he would add any other natural therapies to what he calls "my big three," and he said there is one, but it's not a preventive agent against the flu. He said, "I'd add some acidophilus culture (also called probiotics) to the mix, during and for a few days after the use of OLE. The situation here is that OLE is such a good antibacterial that it can also kill the 'good guy' bacteria that we need in our gastrointestinal (GI) tracts. A capsule or so of acidophilus before meals should be adequate insurance for keeping these beneficial organisms established."

When enzymes attack

And apparently another natural agent that helps with digestion just might help fight the flu as well.

In last week's e-Alert "Chew On This" (12/4/03), I told you about a new enzyme formula called Proteolytic Enzymes, a full-spectrum systemic enzyme formula developed by HSI Panelist Jon Barron. This week Jon sent me an e-mail with this message: "As it turns out, among everything else they do, proteolytic enzymes may also help with the flu."

Jon included an article from Infinity2 Nutrition in which the authors state that when the proteolytic potential is raised in the blood it provides an efficient therapy as well as prevention of viral infection. According to the authors, "Successful inhibition of infection has been accomplished in many different viruses including six different influenza type A viruses."

You can find more information about Proteolytic Enzymes at

The essentials

Needless to say, with all the rush and deadline pressure that comes with the holidays, it's often difficult to do the four key things necessary to maintain optimum immune system health:

* Exercise regularly

* Eat nutritious foods (preferably fresh, whole foods)

* Manage stress levels (See the e-Alert "Easy Does It" 11/26/03)

* Get the right amount of sleep

For more tips on strengthening your immune system, see the e-Alert "Debugging Kit" (9/24/03), because it's never too late to take a few simple steps to give your immune system the advantage against viruses.


"Big Shot" Robert Bazell, MSN, 12/1/03,

" - Flu Season Starting Early and Strong" (link no longer active) Associated Press, 11/17/03,

"Health Officials Warn of Severe Flu Strain" NBC11, 12/3/03,

"Therapeutic Use of Enzymes" Jennifer Hammer, M.S., CCN, and Stan Bynum, Ph.D., Infinity2 Nutrition, 2001,

If you'd like to participate in the HSI Forum, search past e-Alerts and products or you're an HSI member and would like to search past articles, visit

See also:

Flu Crimes
"... if an individual has five consecutive flu shots his or her chances of developing Alzheimer's Disease are 10 times greater than if they had one, two or no shots..."

Index of articles regarding FLU - An impressive collection of articles on influenza and flu vaccines by Vaccination Liberation

Flu Vaccine may Lead to Asthma in Infants

Video: URGENT WARNING: H5N1 DNA in Flu Vaccine
Flu Mist over the counter live flu vaccine has been found to contain two H5N1 DNA markers, these markers seem to have been sewn into the flu mist vaccine to ensure that H5N1 or another strain of Avian Flu goes pandemic.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Thursday December 11 2003
updated on Tuesday December 7 2010

URL of this article:


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Flu vaccine a Misty promise
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Readers' Comments

See also:

FluMist vaccine

Posted by: Chris Gupta on December 11, 2003 11:12 PM


From a communication issued by Eileen Dannemann, director of the National Coalition of Organized Women, October 11, 2005:

Researchers and scientists recommend an emergency restraining order on Med Immune Vaccines, Inc., FLU MIST

According to research team, Dr. Mark and David Geier, the current flu vaccines are not only ineffective against the expected Avian Bird Flu pandemic but "the FDA Approved thimerosal/mercury-free FLU MIST (MedImmune Vaccines, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD) vaccine may create a super strain virus plague�?, warns Dr. Mark Geier.

The well respected research team has already alerted members of the medical community in Washington, DC recommending that any support for the FLU MIST vaccine be withdrawn immediately and a restraining order be issued to the vaccine manufacturers. The immediate and present danger lies in the suspicion that FLU MIST contains the 2 exact genes that the avian flu is missing.

FluMist is a live cold-adapted trivalent nasally administered vaccine, which is currently being recommended for individuals between the age of 5 and 49 years. According to the 2005 Physicians Desk Reference (PDR), the probability of acquiring a transmitted vaccine virus following close contact with a single FluMist inoculee was estimated to be 2.4% (95% CI: 0.13-4.6) [31]. Because of the possible transmission of this vaccine's viruses, vaccine recipients are advised to avoid close contact with immuno-compromised individuals for at least 21 days. Additionally, persons with conditions such as human immunodeficiency virus infection, malignancy, leukaemia, or lymphoma, and patients who may be immunosuppressed or have altered or compromised immune status as a consequence of treatment with systemic corticosteroids, alkylating drugs, antimetabolites, radiation, or other immunosuppressive therapies, may be at significant risk if exposed within 21 days to a FluMist vaccine inoculee. Other individuals who might be at high risk if exposed within 21 days to FluMist inoculees, include, but are not limited to, adults and children with chronic disorders of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, including asthma; pregnant women; and adults and children who required regular medical follow-up or hospitalization during the preceding year because of chronic metabolic diseases (including diabetes), renal dysfunction, or hemoglobinopathies. Additionally, because FluMist contains live influenza viruses, there is the possibility with the widespread use of FluMist, that an individual might have a second concurrent viral infection (such as the avian bird flu) occur, with the possibility that the live viruses from the FluMist recombine/re-assort with the second viral infection to produce a "super virus.�?

It is obvious from the extensive list of persons who might be at risk if exposed to a FluMist vaccine recipient within 21 days of vaccination, along with potential ability of the live influenza viruses within FluMist to recombine/re-assort with other viruses, that the continued use of FluMist presents a significant potential danger to the health and well-being of a wide segment of the population. This raises major concerns about the wisdom and ethics of recommending the use of FluMist for use in the general population.

Posted by: Sepp on October 11, 2005 09:51 PM


My son got the flu mist while in Air Force basic traning along with who knows how many other vaccines. He is still sick 4 weeks later cough and congestion. They didn't treat him. I think the flu mist is dangerous!

Posted by: Patricia Stephani on November 2, 2005 11:52 PM


My daughter and I received the flu mist. The first day we felt high. Then we immedately developed the flu. If I would have known that it had 3 live strains we certainly wouldn\'t have taken it. We reecived no warning before hand.

Don\'t get the flu mist unless you want to get 3 strains of the flu.

Posted by: Debbie on October 22, 2007 08:14 PM


My 2 children & I all got the flumist last year. NONE of us got sick afterwards. If you got sick after the flumist it is because you were already exposed before you had it. Get your facts before you scare people, no where in the above article did I see any scientific facts from a qualified person advising that the flumist is unsafe. If it is so unsafe, why did none of us get sick and why has it been said that the flumist is more effective against the flu than the shot because it is LIVE.

Posted by: Toni Purdy on December 11, 2008 08:57 PM


It's good to know that neither you nor your children suffered any serious consequences from your flumist experience. Can you tell us whether you also got the vaccination this year, and what your experience was?

Posted by: Sepp on December 12, 2008 09:17 AM


@Tony Purdy Well, if I read the article well, there is evidence that the vaccine is unsafe. But that's not even the point here. The vaccine must be proven safe and not the other way around. If researchers find a problem, then the vaccine manufacturers have to present the real safety data. But as we all know, this will not happen for a lot of reasons ... but why don't you provide us with the safety data because it seems you know more.

Posted by: Louis on December 15, 2008 12:53 AM


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