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Breaking News: Swine Flu Vaccine Killed 25 in America in 1976



August 15, 2009 – Comments (28)

Umm, that's more dead from the vaccine than from the disease.  And yes, this is a government health care initiative.  If this is legit, wow.. just wow.  I hope somebody will follow up to confirm this.

From the Daily Mail:

A warning that the new swine flu jab is linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter.

The letter from the Health Protection Agency, the official body that oversees public health, has been leaked to The Mail on Sunday, leading to demands to know why the information has not been given to the public before the vaccination of millions of people, including children, begins.

It tells the neurologists that they must be alert for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which could be triggered by the vaccine.

GBS attacks the lining of the nerves, causing paralysis and inability to breathe, and can be fatal.

The letter, sent to about 600 neurologists on July 29, is the first sign that there is concern at the highest levels that the vaccine itself could cause serious complications.

It refers to the use of a similar swine flu vaccine in the United States in 1976 when:

More people died from the vaccination than from swine flu.
500 cases of GBS were detected.  
The vaccine may have increased the risk of contracting GBS by 8 times.

Read more:

David in Qatar

28 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 15, 2009 at 9:45 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

CDC: Reflections on the Swine Flu Vaccination of 1976

When lives are at stake, it is better to err on the side of overreaction than underreaction. Because of the unpredictability of influenza, responsible public health leaders must be willing to take risks on behalf of the public. This requires personal courage and a reasonable level of understanding by the politicians to whom these public health leaders are accountable.

Sick freaking people.  It is better to err on the side of overreaction????  Way to absolve yourselves of the deaths of 25 people.

Oh and they still don't know what caused the increases in GBS cases.  Yet, they are still pimping the vaccine to us. Great.

Ladies and gentleman, government health care!

David in Qatar

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#2) On August 15, 2009 at 10:10 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:


America today has over 100,000,000 million people who depend on it to survive.  In The Great Depression, there were practically none.

Could you imagine what America would look like if we forced to act like we did 70 years ago?

Up until this year, the taxpayer could support those government dependent we are a few trillion short and growing rapidly.....more than the total oil sales of the Middle East or half of China's GDP.

With our economy over saturated with debt, our tax receipts evaporating, two military campaigns that MUST be financed...what kind of thoughts do you think go through government officials minds with so many mouths out there to feed?

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#3) On August 15, 2009 at 10:28 PM, Darvo285 (< 20) wrote:

The thought that shoud be going through thier minds is .......Too many fish, not enough fishing poles.

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin


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#4) On August 15, 2009 at 10:50 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


Probably the only thought going through their minds, is the same one that always does:

How do I keep and increase my power?

The 48 Laws of Power

David in Qatar

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#5) On August 16, 2009 at 12:18 AM, ajm101 (< 20) wrote:

Breaking news from 1976?

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#6) On August 16, 2009 at 2:41 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


My apologies.  I didn't know that you were aware that 25 people died from the swine flu vaccine in 1976, that they still don't know why those people developed GBS, and that the vaccine is still being used today.  I guess you were on top of that.

Nice try at deflection though.

David in Qatar

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#7) On August 16, 2009 at 4:20 AM, ajm101 (< 20) wrote:

I've known about the GBS / H1N1 vaccine link for months.  It been widely publicized, at least in the circles that I read in.

I'm a rational person and it's a free country, so I'll happily go out and choose the flu vaccine (with the 1:1,000,000 risk of dying from GBS) to reduce my risk of contracting (1:5) and dying (1:200, though higher because I fall in the most vulnerable 25-40 group) from H1N1.  If only all choices were that easy.

Feel free to socially freeload off of my efforts via herd immunity.

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#8) On August 16, 2009 at 9:56 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

Testing of swine flu vaccine on children could begin next week at Children’s Mercy Hospital and other medical centers nationwide.

Unless studies under way on adults turn up unexpected side effects, Children’s Mercy anticipates receiving the vaccine early in the week. Children 6 months to 17 years old are eligible for the test vaccine for the H1N1 virus. The vaccine will be given to 120 children.

Public distribution of the vaccine could start in October.

For more information about the program, call Children’s Mercy at 816-460-1041.


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#9) On August 16, 2009 at 10:13 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

WASHINGTON - Hundreds of schools are heeding the government's call to set up flu-shot clinics this fall, preparing for what could be the most widespread school vaccinations since the days of polio.

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#10) On August 16, 2009 at 10:18 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


Didn't you already out yourself as an anti-Libertarian rent seeker?

I wasn't aware you were also a genetic scientist, able to predict how I may benefit from your "immunity" from the flu

David in Qatar

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#11) On August 16, 2009 at 10:20 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Thanks for the follow up, alstry. 

"Yay, force kids to contract GBS so they don't get the flu! That's the Progressive thing to do!"

David in Qatar

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#12) On August 16, 2009 at 10:50 AM, danteps (28.64) wrote:


 I believe it is quite helpful to question government policies and programs.  I am a Libertarian with a medical degree.  Please do your best to disseminate useful facts.  One is not a “genetic scientist” if they write about herd immunity. 

It is true that some folks developed GBS during 1976; researchers also have noted that vaccines in 1991-1992 and 2004-2005 induced anti-GM(1) antibodies in mice (anti-GM(1) are associated with the development of GBS). The potential for development of anti-GM(1) antibodies is not necessarily anything specific to an H1N1 vaccine, to the best of researchers knowledge. Please stop referring to this recent flu outbreak as “swine flu”, it has a loose association with pigs at best.  Most of the genetic alterations are recombinations of human or avian derivation.

Vaccine manufacture and testing has improved significantly over the years and the CDC will be closely monitoring for GBS.  An effective vaccine has the potential to prevent H1N1 influenza in millions of people and save the lives of many others. 

 We could stand by and do nothing or do our very best to prevent this pandemic from spreading further. 

 Alstry, the narcissist, need not reply.

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#13) On August 16, 2009 at 11:45 AM, AdirondackFund (< 20) wrote:

@ dantemps

You might be missing the point here.  You've been 'caught' poisoning The People for Profit.  It is good to see that our Doctors are no better than our Police, our Soldiers, or our Bankers.  Amazingly, everyone got into their trades 'for the money'.  What will they do now that the money is gone? 


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#14) On August 16, 2009 at 12:04 PM, danteps (28.64) wrote:

I don't hold an interest in profiting from the administration of vaccines.  I don’t own stock in publicly traded vaccine companies and didn’t convey that I did.  I just wanted to provide accurate information for those that choose to be informed. 

There certainly are some crazies out there. 

If you read medical history, or perhaps more accurately the history of society, vaccines and anti-infectives are responsible for saving more lives and increasing the average life expectancy than anything in the history of civilization.

Feel free to go back to the 19th century.  I hope most folks will weigh the scientific evidence and make choices that benefit people and save lives.  


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#15) On August 16, 2009 at 12:14 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


I apologize for the misnomer.  I was in haste.  Now on to the important stuff. 

See the two minute video in comment #43 of this post where Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman explains the difference between real scientists and junk scientists.

Real scientists are motivated by discovering the absolute truth about the  world.  Junk scientists, though they use the scientific method, care only about using science as a weapon, often as a weapon for pushing Progressive agendas.

If the junk scientists at the CDC were interested in finding out the absolute truth, they would not be using a vaccine 33 years later that may still cause GBS.  

And of course, it's the old "libertarians want to go back to the 19th century" trick.  How tired is that line?  Can you think of nothing better?

Are you not aware that a major difference between complex societies and primitive societies is the former's robust immune systems, developed from years of overcoming diseases without vaccination?  In every instance where a complex society interacted with a primitive sociey in history, the difference in immunity levels has led to a tremendous advantage for the complex society. 

The ability to develop immunity to disease is not something you should be so quick to discard.  You may actually be doing more harm than good. The truth is that they have no idea what harm or good you cause.  They are not real scientists interested in truth. 

David in Qatar

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#16) On August 16, 2009 at 12:21 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

How does the Hippocratic oath go?

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

David in Qatar

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#17) On August 16, 2009 at 12:58 PM, danteps (28.64) wrote:


I certainly agree that there are good scientists and bad scientists . . . this reality is probably true of any occupation.  There are people who are good and people who are bad. 


I suppose your complex society vs. primitive society argument has a tiny vein of truth in it, if complexity has to do with population size and density of the society.  Truth be told, it was probably more luck than anything (and survivorship bias, the winners in history write what we read today).  And I would caution to use absolutes such as “every”; you cannot prove that statement.  Many explorers of the Western Hemisphere succumbed to infectious diseases that the natives had developed immunity against.  I suppose you call these natives “primitive”.  Furthermore, far more Europeans succumbed to malaria vs. the indigenous Africans.  Some native Africans have genetic mutations which increase their odds of surviving a malaria infection.    


The Black Death (Bubonic Plague) killed anywhere from one-third to one-half of all Europeans.  They were the most “complex” society of the day.


The number of Americans who could expect to live to age 60 in 1830 was only one-third. By 1900 it was one-half.  By 1940 it increased to two-thirds.  And today, the number who survives to age 60 is over 80%. 


Why is this true?  For the most part, vaccines and anti-infectives have reduced infant / adolescent mortality.  Better nutrition was also important.


I am not discarding the ability to develop immunity, in fact that is exactly what a vaccine is intended to impart.


As far as the Hippocratic Oath, which I took, it is a great concept.  However, it is remarkably naïve.  The vast majority of medical interventions, whether pharmaceutical, surgical or other have some risk of causing unintended harm or they do harm.  One cannot pretend there are absolutes, there are nearly always trade-offs.  If you have appendicitis, I am going to have to cut you open, if you have cancer, I am going to probably give you a drug that kills cells and maybe radiation therapy. 

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#18) On August 16, 2009 at 1:00 PM, GeneralDemon (26.63) wrote:

David, you are quite a smart fellow. But... you're against vaccines? Wow. I would bet you were born after the Polio nightmare (that affected a complex society right?)

In 1952, polio reached a peak in the United States, with more than 21,000 cases of paralytic polio.

Can you please re-state your argument where you believe that many human beings are better off dying from a novel virus so we are able to then have more people die off later from another novel virus?

I don't follow your logic.

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#19) On August 16, 2009 at 1:17 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

danteps and GeneralDemon,

Agreed that I am overstating my point.

I just don't understand how we can still be pimping a vaccine for 33 years that may cause GBS. 

Are there not any alternative vaccines?  Why in the world would I want a child to take this vaccine when the swine flu is clearly not the bubonic plague?

David in Qatar 

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#20) On August 16, 2009 at 1:38 PM, danteps (28.64) wrote:


It's wonderful to question policy decisions and stay on top of things.  

The vaccine is different each year, depending upon the strain(s) we are trying to vaccinate against.  The reality is that we don't know exactly why there was an increase in GBS in 1976 and other years, it's still a bit of a mystery.

The good news is that we have improved manufacturing and pre-release testing, so we should reduce the risk of GBS.  Furthemore, there will be broad post-release surveillance for GBS.  We also have improved supportive care / treatments for GBS, so fewer folks would likely die if they did develope GBS.

Ironically, my Grandfather developed GBS after being in a POW camp during WW II.  Fortunately, he survived or I wouldn't be here today. 

It would be wonderful if folks had this much passion to reduce smoking, obesity and Type II diabetes.  Millions of people are afftected by these far more preventable medical conditions.

Wonderful that your post created a dialogue.



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#21) On August 16, 2009 at 1:43 PM, pjonesbcm (< 20) wrote:


 I think that danteps tried to address your concern about continuing to use the vaccine is his comment that we have improved our ability to both produce and monitor vaccine administration.  However, at the end of the day, the unfortunate answer to why we continue to use a vaccine with some risks is that it is the best vaccine technique we currently have available.  We would love that all treatments would be without risk, yet unfortunately attempts to cure or prevent have the concurrent risks of harm (again, as addressed by danteps).  

The concern from the medical community despite this not being the plaque comes from the experience of the 1918 "Spanish" H1N1 flu outbreak that killed upwards of 100 million people worldwide.   We have other public health options at our disposal such as quarantine, not to mention improved ability to provide supportive medical care until the virus is cleared by the body, but vaccines are still a crucial part of the proper response to such a virulent strain of H1N1 (if for nothing else but to protect health care workers who can't avoid exposure and "first exposures" who contact the strain before we are able to realize that it has reappeared).



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#22) On August 16, 2009 at 2:15 PM, Bamafan68 (97.63) wrote:


I have generally enjoyed your posts on a wide variety of subjects, having learned a great deal from them.  On this subject, I must respectfully disagree.  Guillian-Barre syndrome can result from ANY viral exposure, whether it be from a vaccine, actually catching the flu, chicken pox, or a simple garden variety GI bug.  I agree with pjonesbcm, the concern is another pandemic flu similar to the 1918 Spanish flu.  Is H1N1 going to be the superflu with the potential to kill millions that the medical profession has dreaded for a century?  We just don't know, but it certainly shows that potential.  If the government doesn't take steps to minimize problems from such a pandemic, it is inviting disaster much as it did when it ignored deficiencies in New Orleans' levies prior to Hurricane Katrina.

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#23) On August 16, 2009 at 2:29 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


It is good to know that your community is addressing this issue seriously.  Thanks for the time to respond to this post.  I apologize for the overly critical assessment put forward in this post. 

I would like to see the public made aware of problems with vaccines before they are mass distributed.  I also would like to reserve the freedom to choose to be vaccinated or not.  As you can see, if you have a valid case, even a boisterous opponent will listen.  I don't like being pressured into putting foreign substances into my body. And if I feel that policy makers are intentionally withholding or downplaying important information, I immediately become skeptical.


Understand.  Since this was the first time I have heard about the GBS related problems of influenza vaccination, hopefully you can understand my concern with mandatory vaccinations and why I would want answers.


Thanks for your comment.  I'm glad you can enjoy my posts and still find room for disagreement.  I hope you understand my concerns and my responses above. 

David in Qatar

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#24) On August 16, 2009 at 3:35 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


Before I let you completely off the hook, I another question for you, if you will indulge.

When Jonas Salk introduced the polio vaccine, he conducted 8 years of research that included the assistance of 20,000 physicians and public health officers, 64,000 school personnel, and 220,000 volunteers.  A 1954 Gallup poll showed that more Americans knew about the polio field trials than could give the full name of America's President. At least one hundred million people had contributed to the March of Dimes, and seven million had donated their time and labor as well.

Where is the equivalent dedication, patience, research, and community involvement in finding a safe vaccination for swine flu?  If we don't have it, then perhaps we should be directing our efforts there. 

David in Qatar

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#25) On August 16, 2009 at 3:49 PM, ajm101 (< 20) wrote:

This is ridiculous.

Somebody in the UK government emails a neurologist group to be extra vigilant for GBS cases as the H1N1 vaccine program begins, the Daily Mail turns it into a panic story (see the blog for scathing indictments of the UK science press), and then Matt Drudge does his magic to it (the Daily Mail article link is currently at the top of center colum on the drudge report) and now we have 2 blog posts here proclaiming that there's a government cover up about flu vaccine risks

I would love for all you people against the vaccine to look up:

 * acetaminophen toxicity to the liver

 * prozac suicide risks

 * muscular problems associated with fibrate/static treatments for high blood pressure

as well as more mundane but far, far more dangerous risks from cigarette and alcohol abuse.  All drugs have side effects, and one that happens to be associated with vaccines is a small risk of GBS.

Again, nobody is forced to take this vaccine.  By all means do not get if if you cannot do math.

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#26) On August 16, 2009 at 4:25 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


No one has said anything about a cover up. You said in comment #6 that the GBS information has been widely available for months.  It's actually been available for 33 years.  It is just now getting widely disseminated. There is a difference.  There are not only mandatory influenza vaccinations in place, there are also other mandatory vaccination programs of different types in several states.  Even though the overall policy of vaccination may be the right course, the safety of several vaccines in use is disputed.  Is the level of rigorous testing that Jonas Salk and other put into the polio vaccine still present?

My concerns are valid, even if they turn out to be misplaced.  It doesn't hurt anyone to bring it up and ask questions.  The simple math is that more people died from the vaccine 1976 than from the swine flu.  That is not a conspiracy.  It is admitted in the CDC report in comment #1.

If what danteps and others say is true, that the risk for GBS is nonexistent with the latest vaccines, then that is a good thing.  But I'm definitely happy this information is now available and I see no reason to suppress it.

David in Qatar

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#27) On August 17, 2009 at 9:41 AM, pjonesbcm (< 20) wrote:


I wonder if some of the difference you observed between the development of the vaccination for polio and H1N1 has to do with the consistency of the threat. Stories from those who lived during the polio vaccine era tell of living with a persistent fear that their child would go to the pool, get sick, and die or become markedly disabled.  Because of this persistent fear, the effort was more public (and more celebrated)--modern days equivalents might be breast cancer or HIV research.  If any of these were a disease that appeared seasonally in much milder forms and only caused an impressive amount of morbidity and mortality every 50-100 years (not to say that seasonal flu does not cause significant amounts of these yearly...), then maybe this research would not be as well funded or publicized.  There may actually be an amount of dedication equivalent to the polio vaccine development but due to the non-urgency felt by the public ("oh, he just has the flu...") it may just not be covered by the media.

Hope that contributes to the discussion. 

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#28) On August 20, 2009 at 6:58 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

You have to know the source of whereaminow's medical facts. Feel free to read.
After reading that, you'll understand nearly all of the conservative talking points on healthcare.

Unfortunately, it seems that the conservative noise machine is working at full speed: teabaggers, birthers, deathers, creationists, global warming denialists, anti-vaccionationists. They're all the same.

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