pH1N1 and suppression of the immune system – another report

From NBCDFW, January 19, 2014 [hat-tip, Pixie]

“I have never seen a case of [Influenza] Type A followed by Type B right off,” said Dr. Honaker. “The immune system should kick in with Type A so you don’t get Type B, and this year we are seeing people in my office who have Type A and two or three weeks later they have type B.”

This is an anecdotal report from a physician in North Texas. An adequately powered study will need to be conducted before we can be sure that Dr. Honaker’s impression is true. However, given that there have been previous reports that pH1N1 is associated with immune system dysfunction, this issue deserves additional scrutiny.


6 thoughts on “pH1N1 and suppression of the immune system – another report

  1. Perhaps these people who got A and B had the flu shot. I read a study in which suggested people who got the flu shot regularly compromised their immune system, putting them at a higher risk of infection of new and/or different flu strains. That’s only confirms my suspicions that flu shots do more harm than good, and why I nor my children will ever get one.

  2. Diane, you “read a study”? Which one? Please don’t quote some anti-vax loon’s website. Give me a real scientific publication.

    There is a huge body of work that demonstrates that vaccines stimuate the immune system. Flu vaccines sometimes don’t work, but there are many studies that suggest that flu vaccines stimulate the immune system to fight infection.

    I went to pubmed and used the following keywords: “h1n1”, “vaccine” and “effectiveness”. Here is the result:

    This year, there is evidence that the vaccine is less effective against pH1N1 than past years, presumably because the virus has drifted. However, people who were NOT vaccinated appear to be overrepresented among the severe cases and among those who died. There are many grieving parents who lost children to this virus who will tell you that they bitterly regret their decision not to vaccinate their children.

    1. I read about this in several news reports a few years back, and it confirmed my suspicions. In 2009, when the swine flu hit Nova Scotia, Canada, two of my kids got it in June, just as school was letting out. They got it from their friends. To my surprise, I learned that two of their friends who received regular flu shots were hospitalised because they got really sick. My kids were sick, but nothing that required me to take them to the hospital.

      The news reports I read are here:

      and here:

      Here’s another:

      and anther noting particular studies and journals:

      At that same time I read a newspaper report from Norway or Denmark, or somewhere over there about research finding similar results: that flu shots don’t build up the immune system against the flu, not like having the flu for real. But I can’t find that article on the Internet at this time.

      For as many parents there are out there whose kids died of the flu, there are equally a number of parents who wish their kids didn’t get it because of the damage its caused. And who is to say the kids who died wouldn’t have died anyway if they had had the flu shot?

      The answer is: we don’t know.

      But telling parents to get their kids a flu shot because their kids may die if they don’t is a scare tactic, and I won’t do that. The propaganda is brought on by drug companies who are out to make a fortune on our stupidity.

      Thankfully flu shots are a personal choice, so everyone has the right to get it or turn it down. As a parent I make this decision for my kids, just like I make a million other decisions until they reach adulthood.

  3. The first three sources are legitimate, the fourth one is an anti – vax loon site. Vaccines have saved hundreds of millions of lives. People who deny that are disconnected from reality. And that includes the anti-vax loons. If it was up to them, smallpox would still be ravaging the globe. People like them are preventing polio from being eradicated in Pakistan, at this very moment.

    That said, it is true that the flu vaccine is one of the harder ones to make because the virus keeps changing. And, in rare instances, a previous exposure to a vaccine OR A VIRUS, can interfere with an immune response to a new variant. The Canadian results are puzzling because other countries did not see the same pattern. Most importantly, this year, there have been many reports indicating that the vast majority of the severe cases and deaths have been among the unvaccinated. This is not just emotion, its statistics. If the vaccine made people more susceptible, they would be over represented among the dead. Instead, exactly the opposite is happening.

    1. a random US person of age <20y has only a chance of 1:2500 per season
      to get hospitalized from flu, 1:200000 to die from it, 1:9 to get it.
      You can reduce this by (flu-)vaccination to 1:3000, 1:300000, 1:11 – is it worth it ?
      If the cost of the hospitalization is $20000 cost of death is $2M, cost of case is $1000
      and the cost of the vaccination is $20 then the expectation value is clearly negative
      for hospitalization and death but 0 for case.
      So the question is : would you be willing to get the flu for your child for $1000 ?
      If yes, then drop the vax.
      (numbers estimated from

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