Swine Flu Vaccine – A Public Health Experiment

What do human brain and nerve tissues, Gulf War Syndrome, some health supplements and GlaxoSmithKline’s new swine flu vaccine adjuvant all have in common? The answer: squalene. Its presence in fatty tissues and supplements is generally benign or beneficial; its presence in GSK’s vaccine is morbid.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) holds the contract to supply Canada’s pandemic H1N1 vaccine – a vaccine containing an unlicensed additive, specifically the AS03 squalene based adjuvant. AS03 is designed to stimulate a dramatically increased immune response which results in less vaccine antigen being required in each vaccine dose.

“Canada will likely use adjuvanted swine flu vaccine,” says Dr. David Butler-Jones, head of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Neither Canada nor the U.S. has licensed flu vaccines containing adjuvants. So adding one would erect regulatory hurdles that would either require additional clinical trials – prolonging time to vaccine delivery – or a decision to use the product under ‘emergency use’ authorizations.

Many Canadians are concerned that trigger happy health officials will “cry wolf” and implement “emergency” powers available through the Quarantine Act and Federal Emergencies Act to strong arm the population into submitting to the H1N1 vaccine. (1, 2)

Experimental swine flu vaccines being fast-tracked, and which side-step normal approval procedures and testing have many people concerned about their safety. There is concern that the vaccine could cause worse problems than the swine flu itself “The race to create a vaccine for the H1N1 flu virus could place the public at a greater risk than the illness the vaccine is designed to prevent, says a University of Manitoba ethicist. Arthur Schafer, director of the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, said it appears a vaccine will be rushed to the public before it can be determined properly that it’s safe – or if it even works. Schafer said the real question is one of relative risks and benefits. The H1N1 flu, he said, has proved to date to be no more lethal than seasonal flu. Vaccines to treat seasonal flu have not been effective, and there is no evidence to suggest a vaccine for H1N1 will be more effective, he added.” (3,4,5,15)

For months the media has bombarded us with Pandemic Flu propaganda while the government, urged on by misguided pressure from the World Health Organization (WHO) makes plans to stockpile enough doses of an untried, experimental vaccine for mass use in Canada. A Canadian Press articles says that “federal officials announced Canada had ordered 50.4 million doses – enough, they believe, to protect all Canadians who want to be vaccinated”. (6)

On August 14, GlaxoSmithKline announced it has started human testing of its swine flu vaccine. It plans to test its vaccine in more than 9,000 people in Canada, the United States and Europe as part of 16 clinical trials. “In Canada and the U.S., Glaxo is testing vaccines with and without adjuvants……We aim to get the first doses out in September,”and “to fill major orders by the end of the year or early 2010.” (7)

While the media has alluded to the new H1NI vaccine containing a novel adjuvant, very little information about this new vaccine ingredient has leaked out. Certainly nothing about AS03’s potential for harm has been disclosed by health officials.(8) Adding insult to injury, the HIN1 vaccine also contains thimerosal, the neurotoxic mercury based preservative. (21)

Several experimental pandemic vaccines containing squalene adjuvants are being unleashed on populations around the world at this time. AS03 and MF59 are patented adjuvants being used by some of the companies contracted to make the swine flu vaccines. (19) MF59 and ASO3, contain squalene which has been repeatedly linked in the medical literature to cause serious autoimmune problems, and even more research links Gulf War Syndrome in soldiers to squalene based adjuvants in anthrax vaccine. (9,10,11,13)

A recent WHO Press Conference confirmed that there is no safety data regarding the use of squalene adjuvanted vaccines for pregnant women, asthmatics and children between the ages of 6 months to 3 years. Both pregnant women and young children are targeted groups on the priority list for injection, along with health care providers. (12)

Adjuvants are immune boosting chemicals which allow smaller doses of the disease antigens to be used and speed up the time it takes to produce enough vaccine for a population. When injected into the body, adjuvants provoke a powerful immune response not only to the disease particles being injected, but also stimulate the immune system to make antibodies against the adjuvant. Since squalene is an oil found naturally in the human body, an immune response of antibodies against the naturally occurring squalene already present in the body can provoke the immune system to wage war on its host. This type of aberrant immune system response is the basis of autoimmune diseases.

Autoimmune diseases typically take months and years to develop. Studies comparing the long term health outcome of groups injected with squalene adjuvanted vaccines, with those receiving traditional non-adjuvanted vaccines, or no vaccine, have not been done. Without these comparative studies allowing for the lengthy time frame needed for the emergence of autoimmune diseases, a mass vaccination program with vaccines containing hazardous substances like squalene is a reckless experiment by public health officials and governments who fund it.

According to investigative journalist, Garry Matsumoto (8,10), squalene was injected via an experimental anthrax vaccine into troops going to the first Gulf War. Immunologist, Pamela Asa connected it with Gulf War Syndrome when she learned of a participant in a herpes vaccine trial who had received a squalene-based adjuvant as a placebo; he had subsequently developed autoimmune symptoms almost identical to Gulf War Syndrome. Dr Asa asked virologist, Robert Garry to develop a test to detect antibodies against squalene. That test has been the key diagnostic tool used to determine if patients’ autoimmune diseases are linked to squalene in vaccines they have received.

Russell Blaylock MD discusses the hazards of squalene adjuvants – “Because squalene, the main ingredient in MF-59 [a squalene based adjuvant], can induce hyperimmune responses and induce autoimmunity, a real danger exists for prolonged activation of the brain’s immune cells, the microglia. This type of prolonged activation has been strongly associated with such diseases as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS and possibly vaccine-related encephalitis. It has been shown that activation of the systemic immune system, as occurs with vaccination, rapidly activates the brain’s microglia at the same time, and this brain inflammation can persist for long periods. (11)

Even as early as the 1930s, injected oils were notorious for inducing illness. They were considered much too dangerous for humans but were used to induce autoimmune disease in animals unfortunate enough to be undergoing lab tests. Experiments at UCLA and U of Florida Medical Schools, the Swedish Karolinska Institute, The Polish Academy of Science and many other research institutes have corroborated the powerful autoimmune-eliciting effects of squalene and squalene-based adjuvants specifically. (13)

However, seeking vigorous immune boosting effects for vaccines showing poor efficacy, drug regulators have rashly ignored the decades-old evidence of harm. Research bodies have been developing vaccines containing squalene-based adjuvants for some time now, and some of these have already been marketed in Europe. One example is the Italian influenza vaccine, FLUAD, which was licensed in 1997. Although trials showed it to be safe for the elderly and safe over the short term, adverse events discovered post marketing and listed in the FLUAD monograph include diseases virtually the same as Gulf War Syndrome. (8)

A noteworthy point to understand is that studies claiming it is safe to inject squalene into the human body have primarily been sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry or the military. However, the more than two dozen independent peer reviewed published studies documenting the health destructive effects of squalene as an injected adjuvant all reach a similar conclusion – squalene typically induces a range of autoimmune diseases when injected into the body. (13)

Then there are questions as to whether or not the swine flu vaccine will even work. Looking at the track record of how poorly effective regular seasonal flu vaccines are, makes the prospect of a rushed experimental vaccine having any significant benefit even bleaker. (3,14,15,18) There is even some research showing that mass vaccination could cause more widespread infection from a mutated vaccine resistant strain of an influenza virus rendering a mass vaccination program more harmful than helpful. (16)

Who will take responsibility when people are injured by this new experimental vaccine? Except for the province of Quebec, Canada provides no compensation to vaccine injury victims. Contrast this to the U.S. vaccine injury compensation system which has already paid out close to $2 billion dollars in damage claims for injuries caused by vaccines that have been fully tested and deemed “safe” for routine childhood vaccinations. (17)

It’s possible that delivery of the GSK ‘pandemic’ vaccine will be delayed so long that the public health experiment will be ditched. As Dr. Richard Schabas, MOH for Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, has said, most swine flu cases have been mild, the virus is already diminishing in the southern hemisphere and, “This is the fourth pandemic alarm in six years. And the first three have been wrong.” Let’s hope the squall blows over. (20)

References & Notes

  1. Two Acts, the Federal Emergencies Act and the Quarantine Act, enable the Federal government to impose unilateral powers during a perceived public health emergency: See “New Political Powers to Quarantine” and ‘State of Emergency FAQ
  2. Quarantine Act
  3. Interview with epidemiologist Dr. Tom Jefferson: “The WHO and public health officials, virologists and the pharmaceutical companies. They’ve built this machine around the impending pandemic. And there’s a lot of money involved, and influence, and careers, and entire institutions! And all it took was one of these influenza viruses to mutate to start the machine grinding.
  4. Aldo Santin. Flu vaccine may be more dangerous than virus: ethicist. Winnipeg Free Press. Aug 6, 2009.
  5. What do we know about the vaccine’s safety? Not enough, Globe & Mail,
  6. Helen Branswell, Rich countries shouldn’t get pandemic vaccine first. Canadian Press Aug. 13/09
  7. Swine Flu Vaccine Now Being Tested on Humans, CBC Aug. 14, 2009
  8. A Glimpse Into the Scary World of Vaccine Adjuvants’ by Edda West
  9. Mercola: Squalene & Flu Vaccines: Dirty Little Secret Exposed
  10. Vaccine A, by Gary Matsumoto; The Greatest Story Never Told: A truly stunning piece of investigative journalism documenting the tragic story of U.S. military personnel who developed devastating autoimmune diseases after being injected with squalene laced experimental anthrax vaccine
  11. Dr. Russell Blaylock MD – July 7, 2009 – Vaccine May Be More Dangerous Than Swine Flu
  12. World Health Organization. Transcript of Virtual Press Conference. July 13, 2009.
  13. Squalene Citations – peer reviewed published studies: Squalene Induces Autoimune Diseases in Animals
  14. The Truth about the Flu Shot
  15. Influenza Vaccination: Policy versus Evidence, Tom Jefferson MD, British Medical Journal, Rapid Responses
  16. Iwami S, Suzuki T, Takeuchi Y, 2009 Paradox of Vaccination: Is Vaccination Really Effective against Avian Flu Epidemics? PLoS ONE 4(3): e4915. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004915
  17. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Statistics Reports. Awards Paid.
  18. Alan Cassels and Arthur Schafer, What do we know about the vaccines’ safety? Not enough, August 7, 2009
  19. Patent for GSK adjuvant: AS03 ADJUVANT: A schematic representation of the preparation process is given in TABLE 3. The final composition of AS03 comprising MPL per human dose is given the TABLE 4. Also see TABLE 63 – Composition of the reconstituted AS03 adjuvanted influenza candidate
  20. Steve Pettibone, Schabas Says Swine Flu Unlikely to Become Epidemic, The Intelligencer, July 22, 2009
  21. Safeminds Questions CDC officials – concerns about the unknown effects of combining squalene based adjuvants & mercury

Additional Reading