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An Argument Against Mike Adam’s Fraudulent Flu Shot Article

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Influenza, a respiratory illness affecting the throat, nose, and lungs,1 has been reported to send around 200,000 individuals to hospitals throughout the United States due to its symptoms.2 Its severity varies from case to case and its symptoms regularly include a fever, sore throat, cough, body aches, chills, fatigue, headache, and occasionally diarrhea and vomiting1. Some cases can become severe enough that it leads to death. Medical experts believe that influenza is spread by droplets formed when an infected individual talks, coughs or sneezes. Certain individuals, such as people aged under 5 or over 65, pregnant women, and those with certain chronic illnesses, such as asthma or heart disease, are more susceptible to a more severe case of the flu. Most doctors and many medical organizations, such as the CDC, recommend an annual flu shot as a safe measure of prevention.1

Mike Adams, the author of, “Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history”, goes against this claim. Within this article Adams describes the alleged dangers of commercial flu vaccinations, putting an emphasis on a preservative vaccination companies put in called thimerosal. Thimerosal, one of the most common vaccination preservatives, it utilized to kill pathogens and challenging organisms such as fungi. The problem Adams has with thimerosal is the fact that it is approximately 50% mercury by weight.3 Adams goes on to explain his concern with the flu vaccination, considering the adverse effects mercury has on the human body. Mercury has been found to have toxic effects on the immune, nervous, and digestive systems, as well as on the skin, kidneys and lungs.4

While concern of mercury being present in vaccinations is well-justified, one must look into the history and purpose of preservatives in vaccines to understand its widespread use. As mentioned before, preservatives are added in order to prevent microbial growth, both during the manufacturing process and in multi-dose vials to prevent contamination. 3 There have been cases where no preservatives were added, leading to fatal consequences, further proving their necessity. Also, going against Adams’ claim of no research going into the safety of thimerosal, the FDA claims that there is a “robust body” of international, peer-reviewed studies conducted that have proven the safety of its use as a preservative. No cases of harm, such as neurodevelopmental disorders of fetuses, have been reported in the past 15 years of thimerosal’s study. In fact, thimerosal is found to metabolize into ethylmercury and thiosalicylate.3 The World Health Organization has found ethylmercury to be broken down rather quickly and have even conducted their own studies, which have proven thimerosal to pose no health risks when used within vaccinations, even in pregnant women.4 As for elemental mercury, the 50 micrograms that Adams repeatedly described in his article as “very high concentrations”, has been observed to be roughly the same amount of mercury found in a 3 ounce can of tuna.4

While Adams’ claim of thimerosal being in flu vaccines is accurate, his claim of the individuals receiving the vaccinations without informed consent is flawed. Considering the research found proving that thimerosal is safe, doctors should not have to give the patient every detail of what is contained in the vaccination. Every individual has the choice to get the shot and should conduct their own personal research, especially if one is with child, in order to decide whether they believe receiving the vaccination is worth it. Of course, there are also other methods of preventing the flu that do not include vaccination, such as avoiding sick individuals, periodic hand-washing, and covering sneezes and coughs.1 While these methods are free and simple, the vaccination is seen by most medical experts as the best method of prevention of influenza.1

The flu vaccination has been estimated to prevent nearly 5.3 million influenza illnesses, 85,000 hospitalizations, and 2.6 million influenza medical visits throughout 2016-2017. The CDC also states that the vaccination reduces the need for hospitalization due to the flu by 30-60%. While these numbers are not perfect, one must consider the fact that the vaccination changes every year, depending on which strain is predicted to circulate during the given season. For individuals with weak immune systems, receiving this vaccine is imperative and ultimately can save lives. Healthy individuals should also receive the shot, not only for themselves, but to protect those around them who might be more likely to develop a more severe case of the flu. 5

If a patient is still concerned with thimerosal being in their flu vaccination, one should note that in recent years the levels of thimerosal in vaccinations has progressively declined as new vaccinations have been formulated. There are now thimerosal-free vaccinations available to those with such concerns. While these thimerosal-free options are available, one should note that the CDC’s ACIP, or Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, recommends the vaccinations with thimerosal, considering its proven effectiveness in eliminating microbial growth. 3

Reading Adams’ article proves the need to thoroughly research everything that you read on the internet. Personal biases and one-sided viewpoints must not affect the way we think, rather one should put in the extra effort to get the full picture. While his article pointed out some interesting facts I did not previously know, I believe that his explanations were fearmongering and ultimately were made simply to push the idea of natural medicine. This being said, I will now put in an effort to research into the vaccinations I receive throughout my life, for curiosity purposes and to ensure that I make the best choices for my body.

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