Not The First Flu Vaccines That Were Tainted...

If you're a regular subscriber to my twice-weekly free eHealthy News You Can Use newsletter, you saw an article I posted yesterday about the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) recent announcement that encourages anybody and everybody to get a flu shot. The details revealed in a government report, published in this morning's USA Today (one of my most favorite newspapers I read every day), go a long way toward explaining why you should always question the source of such reports for the safety of you and your family's health.

The same Chiron plant in Liverpool that produced tainted flu vaccines last fall and, as a result, was responsible for much needless panic, had also sent other improperly produced vaccines to this country just three years ago.

The government inspection report, recently given to Congress, questioned if the vaccines Chiron produced back then had stayed potent and sterile through their expiration dates, because the plant had deviated from approved manufacturing methods, then failed to document whether that would harm its quality over time.

The FDA finally discovered that previous snafu during a plant inspection two years ago, more than a year after millions of Americans received flu shots for the 2001-2002 season and a month before Chiron purchased it from PowderJect Pharmaceuticals.

Perhaps, the most disturbing facts of all:

  • A number of required quality-control tests prior to 2003 were simply overlooked, and others weren't done on time.
  • Before 2004, PowderJect sent the FDA test vaccine samples labeled as one kind of flu strain when they were actually another.

Yet despite all these problems, the FDA believed the problems would be corrected, even though the plant had received a bad review in 1999, and was being relied on for more of this country's flu vaccines.

That kind of crazy thinking is reason enough to check out the facts before you make a rash decision that could jeopardize your family's health. Besides, nobody really needs a flu shot, especially when they're tainted with thimerosal -- a compound found in many vaccines that contains up to 50 percent ethylmercury.

And especially, when there's safer, healthier treatments to boost your immune system that protects you from the flu and other illnesses.

USA Today February 10, 2005

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