"MedImmune, the manufacturer of FluMist, recently
announced that it signed an agreement that makes FluMist,
the new intranasal influenza vaccine, readily available
to people as they shop at Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest
As the physician in charge of a bustling integrative
medical clinic, questions about vaccines frequently
arise. After reading about the MedImmune-Walmart joint
venture, I felt compelled to warn our patients and
our Internet subscribers of the potentially serious
complications that may come from direct and passive
exposure to this new vaccine. I also wanted to give
a "heads up" to everyone regarding the onslaught of
advertising that is about to besiege them.
Hundreds of TV and print advertisements have been
designed to persuade everyone into taking the FluMist
plunge. The campaign will be the "most intense, direct-to-consumer
marketing campaign ever waged for a vaccine," costing
an estimated $25 million over the next 2.5 months
In addition, Wyeth, MedImmune’s partner, plans a three-year,
$100 million campaign to encourage use of the nasal
flu vaccine among physicians. 
The television arm of the blitz campaign will focus
on the "inconveniences" that your family, friends
and co-workers will endure if you don’t get the flu
shot and subsequently contract the flu. Print advertisements
and magazine articles apparently will use scare tactics--similar
to those that were used while promoting the smallpox
vaccine--which warned of the high possibility of a
"bioterror attack using the flu virus."
Apparently, the goal seems to center around frightening--or
inducing enough guilt--so that everyone would begin
to demand the vaccine as soon as it is available.
And at nearly $70 a dose, this will be a financial
bonanza for MedImmune and Wyeth, who are expecting
the vaccine to become the blockbuster new drug that
will push MedImmune’s revenues to more than $1 billion/year.
However, there are many reasons for caution. FluMist
contains live (attenuated) influenza viruses that
replicate in the nasopharynx of the vaccine recipient.
The most common side effects include "cough, runny
nose/nasal congestion, irritability, headaches, chills,
muscle aches and fever > 100° F."
These symptoms are nearly identical to those the flu
vaccine is designed to prevent. 
A cause for significant concern is the vaccine’s
most prevalent side effects: "runny nose" and "nasal
congestion." It has been documented that the live
viruses from the vaccine can be shed (and potentially
spread into the community) from recipient children
for up to 21 days, 
and even longer from adults. 
Viral shedding also puts breastfeeding
infants at risk if the mother has been given FluMist.
In addition to shedding via nasal secretions, the
virus can be dispersed through sneezing. What is the
normal physiological response when an irritant enters
the nasal passages? A sneeze … sometimes a big sneeze
… sometimes several big sneezes. Therefore, the risk
for shedding--and spreading--live viruses throughout
a school, church, workplace or store--especially one
which is administering the vaccine.
In the section of the FluMist package insert labeled
"PRECAUTIONS," the manufacturer states the following
"FluMist® recipients should avoid
close contact with
immunocompromised individuals for at least 21 days."
The warning is specifically directed toward those
living in the same household with an immunocompromised
person, but the on-going release of live viruses throughout
the community may be a significant risk to everyone
who has a weak, or weakened, immune system.
The number of immunocompromised people in the United
States is enormous:
It is estimated that at least 10 percent, or more
than 28 million people have eczema.
More than 8.5 million people have cancer. 
There are reported to be 850,000 individuals with
diagnosed and undiagnosed
HIV infection or AIDS 
Based on 2001 data, there were 184,000 organ recipients
An even more extensive list of at-risk people includes
the untold millions on drugs called corticosteroids.
Prednisone®, Medrol®, and a variety of similar medications
given to both adults and children. These drugs are
prescribed for dozens of conditions including asthma,
allergies, eczema, emphysema, Crohn’s disease, multiple
sclerosis, herniated spinal discs, acute muscular
pain syndromes, and all types of rheumatoid and autoimmune
diseases. As much as 60 percent of the entire population
could be considered to be "chemically immunosuppressed."
It is important to realize that FluMist is CONTRAINDICATED
for people who are immunocompromised. People who receive
FluMist and are living with an immunocompromised person
put their loved ones at risk.
Will this make stores that administer the vaccines--like
Walmart and the other pharmaceutical chain stores
that have announced they will carry FluMist 
--risky places to shop for large segments of the population?
What measures will be taken in these stores to ensure
that the virus will not become commingled with food?
What hand washing policy is going to be enforced in
the stores for all Walmart employees and customers
who have received FluMist? These are reasonable questions
that deserve answers.
The target market for FluMist is "healthy children
and adults, ages 5 to 49 years." Some believe that
by vaccinating these people, a type of "herd immunity"
will occur that will protect the very young and the
elderly who are excluded from getting this vaccine.
However, it is these very "at-risk" populations who
may suffer the most from the flu by being exposed
to people who are given FluMist.
According to information presented at the May 2003
National Influenza Summit,
 approximately 85 percent of Americans
between the ages of 20 and 50 go unvaccinated, and
nearly 66 percent between the ages of 50 and 64 do
not receive the flu vaccine. Have there been "raging
epidemics" across the country due to lack of flu vaccinations?
It appears that the massive campaign to vaccinate
everyone this year may be motivated, in part, by economics.
The viruses suspected to be the most likely cause
for the flu this season were negligibly different
from the strains used in last year’s flu vaccine.
Therefore, the influenza vaccine produced for the
2003-2004 season is identical in composition to the
one used last year. This marks only the second time
that the same strains have been used during two consecutive
flu seasons. 
Consider that antibodies from other viral vaccines--such
as MMR, polio and chickenpox vaccines--last at least
three years, and in some instances, up to 15 years.
If the viruses used in the vaccine are the same as
last year, why is this year’s vaccine even necessary?
An even greater concern about FluMist is the contents
within the vaccine. Each 0.5 ml of the formula contains
10 6.5-7.5 particles of live, attenuated influenza
virus. That means that between 10 million and 100
million viral particles will be forcefully injected
into the nostrils when administered. The viral strain
was developed by serial passage through "specific
pathogen-free primary chick kidney cells" and then
grown in "specific pathogen-free eggs." That means
that the culture media was free of pathogens that
were specifically tested for, but not a culture that
was necessarily "pathogen-free." The risk that the
vaccine may contain contaminant avian retroviruses
still remains. In addition, a stabilizing buffer containing
potassium phosphate, sucrose (table sugar) and nearly
0.5 mg of monosodium glutamate (MSG) is added to each
One of the most troubling concerns over the injection
of this "chemical soup" is the potential for the viruses
to enter directly into the brain. At the top of the
nasal passages is a paper-thin bone called the cribriform
plate. The olfactory nerves pass through this bone
and line the nasal passages, carrying messenger molecules
to the brain that are identified as "smells" familiar
to us. The olfactory tract has long been recognized
as a direct pathway to the brain. Intranasal injection
of certain viruses has resulted in a serious brain
infection called encephalitis, presumably by direct
infection of the olfactory neurons that carried the
viruses to the brain. 
Time will tell whether the live viruses in FluMist
will become linked to cases of encephalitis.
The pharmaceutical companies do not necessarily always
do a reasonable job of considering the "down side"
when they are pushing new drugs or new vaccines. FluMist
has the potential for causing the worst, most severe
flu epidemic seen in years. Parents tell their young
children not to put things up their noses because
they might cause them harm. It would be wise to consider
that advice for adults. With all the risks involved,
one should be extremely cautious about what one allows
to be sprayed in one’s nose.
Long-time readers may remember that three years ago
I warned this live flu spray vaccine was coming, and
it has finally arrived.
The "experts" will use fear to motivate people to
get a flu vaccine, but this is yet another health
care illusion. Let's be clear, flu can definitely
be a killer disease and is not something that should
be easily dismissed. But, remember that flu shots
don't prevent illness--never have, never will.
The flu vaccine can actually weaken the immune system
and make you more predisposed to the illness. And
as the above article says, the side effects of FluMist
sound just like the symptoms of the flu. If you decide
to get this nasal vaccine, you will get not only a
live flu virus in each dose but also table sugar and
MSG, which are
fraught with their own problems.
People are dying from the flu because they are already
sick and have compromised immune systems. The majority
of the cause is surely related to eating too much
sugar and too many grains, getting inadequate rest
and suffering from unresolved emotional trauma.
I discuss the dangers of sugar and grains, as well
as how to resolve emotional traumas, in my book, The No-Grain Diet. One way to
deal with emotional stress is with EFT, a psychological
acupressure technique. I have found it to be extremely
effective with many patients who come to my clinic.
For more information you can review my free 25-page EFT manual.
Naturally, if you are healthy you will likely never
get the flu, but if you do there are some simple strategies
that you can follow that will be highly beneficial.
One is to try the inexpensive and non-toxic hydrogen peroxide
An essential resource for anyone interested in finding
out more about the vaccine issue is “Vaccines: What CDC Documents
and Science Reveal,” a two-hour video by world-renowned
vaccine expert Dr. Sherri Tenpenny. The video is the
culmination of Dr. Tenpenny’s three-year investigation
into the real story behind vaccines. The facts on
several crucial areas are covered including:
How vaccines can cause illnesses including autoimmune
diseases, allergies, ear infections, and more
The very real link between vaccines and developmental
learning and behavioral disorders in children
How vaccines have never been proven safe
The ingredients and contaminants in vaccines and
why they’re detrimental to your health
How vaccine studies are seriously flawed
If you are a parent, a medical practitioner, or are
otherwise interested in how to exercise your freedom
of choice to bypass vaccines, you should also consider
Dr. Tenpenny’s insightful cassette tape, “The Dangers of
Vaccines, and How You Can Legally Avoid Them.”
Those interested in both the video and the tape can
take advantage of our free shipping offer now.
DowJones Business News. Sept. 12, 2003. FluMist
Available In Pharmacies This Fall. http://biz.yahoo.com
Washington Post. Nasal spray for flu to get big
Sept. 10, 2003, pg. E01
Washington Post. Spray vaccine for flu wins FDA
June 18, 2003. pg. A01.
Mohammed, Madjid. Influenza as a bioweapon.
Adler, Neil. MedImmune awaits the $1 billion
mark and a new flu drug.
The Business Gazette. Feb. 7, 2003. http://www.gazette.net
FluMist package insert.
Vesikari T., et al. A randomized, double-blind,
placebo-controlledtrial of the safety, transmissibility
and phenotypic stability of a live, attenuated,
cold-adapted influenza virus vaccine (CAIV-T)
in children attending day care. Presented at the
41st Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial
Agents and Chemotherapy, (Chicago, IL). 2001
ibid. (Chicago, IL). 2001
Zangwell, Kenneth. Cold-adapted, live attenuated
intranasal influenza virus vaccine. The Pediatric
Infectious Disease Journal 2003; 22(3):273-274.
Diepgen TL. Is the prevalence of atopic dermatitis
increasing? In: Williams HC, ed. Atopic Dermatitis:
The Epidemiology, Causes and Prevention of Atopic
Eczema. New York: Cambridge Univ Pr; 2000:96-112.