Sunday, February 06, 2005

Family News

My son Zack received a flu shot in December of 2003. About two weeks after, he developed neurological difficulties. Zack has been diagnosed with CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy), a chronic form of Guillain-Barre syndrome. There is no cure. Zack will be affected for life. As a result of his disease, Zack experiences chronic weakness and fatigue in his arms and legs, loss of sensation in his arms and legs, and gait abnormalities. Since this is also a type of auto-immune disease, Zack can never have any vaccinations again, as these may trigger a lapse. When he is not experiencing a relapse, he can move around on his own and do most of his activities of daily living. When he is having a lapse, he cannot use stairs, has trouble walking, and feels tired all the time. We have a wheelchair on hand as needed. He attends school part time. He is currently having his medicines changed, as he is no longer responding to steroids.

Why am I sharing this? After a lot of research and talking with many professionals, it is my opinion that the flu shot is not needed except by at-risk populations (infants, persons with chronic diseases, the elderly). It is more of a risk to take the shot than not. The incidence of flu and flu-related deaths is actually very low (see the CDC web site). The "flu warning" we hear every year is actually another ploy to induce a state of fear in the US population and give pharmaceutical manufacturers a boost in their profits. After all, if flu were that much of a danger, wouldn't our government protect us for free (like the proposed smallpox vaccinations)? In addition, there is no recourse available to persons who develop these neurological diseases as a result of the flu shot, even though the notice they give you at the doctors' offices says that the flu shot can cause Guillain-Barre. No one cares, and no one is going to help you financially if you lose your life's potential and get sick as a result of the flu shot. I say, don't get the shot. But if you want to, educate yourself before you get it.

For more information about Guillain-Barre and CIDP, visit

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Else, thank you for sharing this intimate glimpse into your life and what your son is suffering. I've long been opposed to many of the vaccine programs, for many of the reasons you state, and hearing your first hand experience is chilling. I'm so sorry that there must be so many innocent victims of the heartless greed that compells even pharmacutical companies to take advantage of the fears of the American public. Unfortunately the principles of profitable commerce rule even the trades we put our trust in and our lives in the hands of. It is so sad that there is no accountability for the damage done to a promising young life.


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