Release of H1N1 Vaccine Generates Online Controversy

October 30, 2009
Lisa Schulmeister

Strong opinions appear on blogs and discussion boards.

The release of the H1N1 vaccine on October 12, 2009 has generated hundreds—perhaps thousands—of comments that now appear on online discussion boards, blogs, and webpages. One of the more interesting questions being asked of infectious disease experts is, "Do you plan to have your children vaccinated?" So far, most of the experts have said "absolutely yes." However, Dr. Kent Holtorf appeared on Fox News with the newsline, "Doctor admits vaccine is more deadly than swine flu itself and will not give it to his kids." Holtorf also reminded the public that H1N1 vaccine test results will be released this week, and pointed out that in his opinion, the vaccine was rushed to market and contains additives, such as antiseptics and mercury. Holtorf asserts that these additives have been linked to autism and may be potentially harmful to individuals with mitochondrial dysfunction.

Comments posted in response to the controversy about taking the vaccine or not are varied, and include , "They have done R&D and testing—I know because I was a volunteer in the testing. Yes, it's 'rushed' to market—just like every single seasonal flu vaccine because of the nature of the flu viruses. And lobbyists had nothing to do with it. It's also dangerous to tell people "I had the flu, it wasn't bad". While it has been milder for most people, there are many people at risk, especially young adults, children and certain at-risk groups; encouraging someone not to get the vaccine who really needs it could be endangering their lives. Do you really want to be the one to tell a grieving parent of a dead college student hat you helped influence their child not to get the shot? And finally 'the history of vaccines' has been absolutely stellar--billions of lives saved world-wide. In fact most of you wouldn't be here to post if it weren't for the vaccines you got as children. I read these comments and am amazed how many people in this country don't have critical thinking skills."

Conversely, this opinion was posted, "This swine flu is a very odd virus and was more than likely a bioweapon created in a lab. It is described as a mixture of human, avian and swine viruses. Tellingly, there have been no reported A-H1N1 infections of pigs. The vaccines being tested on humans are admitted to possibly cause paralysis or even death. But this should be no surprise to those who are aware of how the swine flu vaccine given to Americans in 1976 actually caused more deaths than the actual disease and left even more people paralyzed. They also used the same type of media scare to get people to take the vaccines in 1976 that they are now. Do not take these vaccines!"

Emotion is running high about whether or not people should take the H1N1 vaccine or not. Hopefully at some point, people will wonder if the comments posted online are helpful or not, and will stop reading—and posting—them.