Swine Flu Vaccine of 1976- More Harm than Good?

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Will history repeat itself?  Baxter pharmaceuticals is preparing a new swine flu vaccine. Unfortunately, this could take several months to develop. However, it would be unlikely for the flu to continue into the summer months as influenza is traditionally a Winter/Spring infection. This is possibly due to uv light’s ability to kill viruses. In addition, studies show that when one’s vitamin D blood levels are higher, as they are in the summer, they are less likely to develop the flu.

Swine flu ‘debacle’ of 1976 is recalled

The episode triggered an enduring public backlash against flu vaccination, embarrassed the federal government and cost the director of the CDC his job.

By Shari Roan

4:13 PM PDT, April 26, 2009

Warren D. Ward, 48, was in high school when the swine flu threat of 1976 swept the U.S. The Whittier man remembers the episode vividly because a relative died in the 1918 flu pandemic and the 1976 illness was feared to be a direct descendant of the deadly virus.

“The government wanted everyone to get vaccinated,” Ward said. “But the epidemic never really broke out. It was a threat that never materialized.”

What did materialize were cases of a rare side effect thought to be linked to the shot. The unexpected development cut short the vaccination effort — an unprecedented national campaign — after 10 weeks.

The episode triggered an enduring public backlash against flu vaccination, embarrassed the federal government and cost the director of the U.S. Center for Disease Control, now known as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, his job.

The pandemic fears of the time and the resulting vaccine controversy may be fueling some of the public’s — and media’s — anxiety about the current outbreak, said health officials who recalled the previous event.

Ward said his family discussed the vaccine in 1976 and decided not to get it. If a vaccine is ordered for this latest threat, he said, “I’m not getting it. I felt back then like it was a bunch of baloney.”

The swine flu brush of 1976 — some call it a debacle — holds crucial lessons for the government and health officials who must decide how to react to the new swine flu threat in the days and weeks ahead, said those involved in the 1976 experience.

For starters, officials must keep the public informed. They must admit what they know and don’t know. They must have a plan ready should the health threat become dangerous. And they must soothe everyone’s nerves with reassurances that there is no need to worry in the meantime.

It’s a tall order. Doubts about the government’s ability to handle a possible flu pandemic linger from three decades ago, said Dr. Richard P. Wenzel, chairman of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, who diagnosed some of the early cases in 1976.

However, health experts today know much more about influenza, vaccines and the public’s reaction to both, he said.

“I think we’re going to have to be cautious,” Wenzel said. “Hopefully, there will be a lot of good, honest public health discussion about what happened in 1976.”

Officials should be prepared for plenty of second-guessing, especially for any decisions regarding vaccination, which was at the core of the 1976 controversy, said Dr. David J. Sencer, the CDC director who led the government’s response to the threat and was later fired.

“There were good things and bad things about it,” said Sencer, who is retired and lives in the Atlanta area. “People have to make science the priority. They have to rely on science rather than politics.”

The question of whether politics overtook science in 1976 still haunts those involved and has been the fodder of books, articles and discussions for 33 years.

The panic in 1976 was due in part to the belief — now known to be erroneous — that the 1918-19 flu pandemic, which killed half a million Americans and an estimated 20 million people worldwide, was caused by a virus with swine components. Recent research suggests instead that it was avian flu — but that seems unlikely to assuage the anxiety over the current outbreak.

The episode began in February 1976, when an Army recruit at Ft. Dix, N.J., fell ill and died from a swine flu virus thought to be similar to the 1918 strain. Several other soldiers at the base also became ill. Shortly thereafter, Wenzel and his colleagues reported two cases of the flu strain in Virginia.

“That raised the concern that the original cluster at Ft. Dix had spread beyond New Jersey,” said Wenzel, former president of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.

At the CDC, Sencer solicited the opinions of infectious disease specialists nationwide and, in March, called on President Ford and Congress to begin a mass inoculation. The $137-million program began in early October, but within days reports emerged that the vaccine appeared to increase the risk for Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological condition that causes temporary paralysis but can be fatal.

Waiting in long lines at schools and clinics, more than 40 million Americans — almost 25% of the population — received the swine flu vaccine before the program was halted in December after 10 weeks.

More than 500 people are thought to have developed Guillain-Barre syndrome after receiving the vaccine and 25 died. No one completely understands what causes Guillain-Barre in certain people, but the condition can develop after a bout with infection or following surgery or vaccination. The federal government paid millions in damages to people who developed the condition or their families.

However, the pandemic, which some experts estimated at the time could infect 50 million to 60 million Americans, never unfolded. Only about 200 cases of swine flu and one death were ultimately reported in the U.S., the CDC said.

The public viewed the entire episode as political farce, said Sencer, instead of a dedicated, science-based effort to protect public health. He said the government chose to err on the side of caution and risk scorn — something that experts working on the current outbreak may also face.

“If we had that knowledge then, we might have done things differently,” Sencer said. “We did not know what sort of virus we were dealing with in those days. No one knew we would have Guillain-Barre syndrome. The flu vaccine had been used for many years without that happening. If that hadn’t happened, no one would have had any concern about the program.”

Wenzel also recommended vaccination in 1976.….read the rest of the story….


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62 responses to “Swine Flu Vaccine of 1976- More Harm than Good?

  1. Pingback: Swine Flu Symptoms- How to Protect Yourself and your Family « HealthAndSurvival.com

    • linda eagleburger , spfd. mo.

      linda eagleburger i took the swine flu shot in mo. 1976. my husband and i like to died with it . so i have a fear of flu shots i have never took a reg. flu shot. it was bad bad bad. it came on the news for middle age people to take it we did we were very sick.

      • I had the swine flu vac. in the 70’s and was very ill for months.I lived in n.j. at the time. I would never get the latest swine flu inj. or any flu inj. I have to fully agree with your info. Ev Taylor

  2. I had the shot in 1976. How long is it effective

    • I did as well. does this mean we are protected?

      • No, actually it means that you were “infected”. And that is what they are going to do to millions upon millions world wide when they follow the directions of WHO and force vaccinate based upon the lie that a “dangerous” pandemic is going to kill millions.

        The swine flu isn’t any more deadly than any flu you’ve had in the past. It’s the vaccination that we have to worry about.

        It amazes me at the number of people that are so misinformed regarding this topic. I’ll bet that you and Nita are regular Main Stream Media News watchers… right?

  3. i live in the d.c. area and i have various medical issues including cancer and diabetes and severe ahthma. if i have the opportunity to get a flu shot…its a no brainer.

    • The preservative in the vaccine is 49% mercury. That will not help your cancer. Do more research before you take anything. Look up Russian news “RT” on the flu subject, they seem to be giving out way more facts.
      Im not taking it after what I have read.

  4. Pingback: Swine Flu - Page 3 - Conservative Republican Discussion Forums





  7. I had the 1976 vacine. Am I protected?

  8. I rec’d the swine flu shot in 1976. It made me very ill. My sister also took the vaccine and she now has a disease called PROGRESSIVE SUPERNUCLEAR PALSY. I affects her motor skills. She has paralysis of the eyes and throat and weakness in walking etc. Could this have been one of the side effects?

    • I would think it might. Watch this on YouTube.

    • My mom claimed that all her neurological problems started after receiving the swine flu vaccine in the 70’s. She started with involuntary facial movements that affected her eyes and mouth and was diagnosed with a rare disease called Meige’s disease. In her later years, she developed symptoms such as unilateral muscle weakness that progressed to visual, cognitive and swallowing difficulties. Doctors think that she developed corticobasal degeneration which is a degenerative disease of the brain. She eventually could not care for herself and was in a vegetative state for years before she died. I can’t prove that her theory regarding the swine flu vaccine is correct but I cannot disprove it either.

  9. Pingback: Swine Flu - Page 2 - Crazy America

  10. the numbers may be well and true but the fact remains the affected are very very few in numbers, 500 who showed the condition out of 40 mil. and only 25 deaths, more people die everyday from nut allergy’s

    also 1976 and 2009 are 33 years apart, science has evolved rapidly and i dont think its the same vaccine

    also this condition they talk about, it seems to have no real cause so really this article is just to inject fear into gullible people, i mean our body fights infections everyday and according to this article it can be obtained through fighting infections… so what does that mean?? yeah total BS…

    also Ruth progressive nuclear palsy is a disease caused inside the cells, the vaccine could not have done that, its probably a genetic thing, the doctor should have explained

    people open your eyes, the numbers may be scary but look closely and youll see they are smaller than your average day death tolls….

    • maybe more are diying of the shot but it is not noted because they have been given another name i was told i had als so if i died it would not have had anything to do with the swine flu shot

    • “this article is just to inject fear into gullible people”…yeah and you trust the vaccine company, the CDC, the FDA, and the idiots on Capitol Hill? I don’t know about you, but I would be more afraid of what you hear coming from those seeking to make a buck, or cram a vaccine down your throat! Science aside, anything involving millions, possibly billions of dollars, should be scruitinized. The new regime in the White House is no different from the last – they are all about scare tactics, power grabs, and shifting of wealth. SO WHY DON’T YOU OPEN YOUR EYES!

    • My name is Joe and I am working on a major programme for the BBC about swine flu. We are looking for people who got GBS in 1976 after taking the swine flu vaccine.

      Ideally we would like to speak to someone from the Cincinnati area.

      If you know of anyone I would really appreciate it if you could email me back.

      Regards Joe

      • Joe,

        I lived in Cincinnati and I believe that I had GBS after being vaccined for the swine flu in 1976. I suffered paralisis and my family was very very worried. I am interested in finding out if you know of other people from the Cincinnati area the also had this happen to them? Please email me at: Lizmccallum2@gmail.com

  11. it’s more like a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”


    • Not really, the CURRENT form of this strain of flu, is no more lethal than any of the other “typical” flu strains. Most, otherwise healthy people who ” catch” it, will have the usual flu like signs/symptoms ie: Fever, Chills, Fatigue, Aches/Pains, and “Stuffy Noses”. What makes this virus just slightly more “dangerous” than “typical seasonal flu strains” is its high rate of transmissability. Meaning more people with underlying health issues can and will be exposed to it. For these people, getting the Flu, can be more dangerous, in that their body’s defenses are already engaged in other battles and may not be strong enough to fight it off, or may exaserbate their other medical problems to the point of death. I am not talking about people with a well controlled underlying health issue, I am speaking of people with severe chronic diseases that are not or can not be brought under control, it is these people that are most likely to be at just as much risk of dying from the vaccine as they would be from being infected in the first place. Essentially the body reacts the same to the vaccine, as it does to an actual infection. The difference lies in the “condition” of the virus when it is introduced to the the body, a vaccine has “already dead” virus cells, and a exposure has living virus cells. Either way the body goes to work building antibodies that fight the virus, when the virus itself is eliminated, ( with a vaccine the virus is already dead so the body does not have to go through the process of “killing” it, so usually there are no or only very mild symptoms of flu expierenced) the antibodies remain behind to fight off any new exposures to the virus that initiated the process in the first place, and the body at this point is concidered immune to that PARTICULAR virus. The reason “new” seasonal vaccines are developed every year is because, new virus are generated or mutated all the time. They have already found that this strain of “swine flu” is not the same as the previous pandemic’s, so for those who are asking if they are covered from the ‘ 76 vaccination? Most likely you are not, since it is not the same virus now. However there is a genetic relation between now and then with this version of the virus, so you might have ” a leg up on it ” so to speak, in that your body already has partial immunity, it should be able to adapt more readily to this strain and your symptoms would probably be milder than they might otherwise have been.
      I hear all the time ” how come I have to get a new flu shot every year? ” or why some will intially refuse a flu shot saying ” oh I already had mine” I try to explain to them, that each shot is for different kinds of flu, that the word ” Flu” is used to describe the type of virus they could become infected with, and that, there are people working in labs, whose only job is to find and track these “new” threats, determine which ones are most “likely” to be the most prevalent in the population at large, and then custom design any given year’s vaccine. They don’t always get it right, and that is why some times people, who have recieved their yearly vaccination, end up getting the flu anyway.
      I hoped this has helped clear up some of the confusion. This information is my opinion only, but it is based on my extensive review of the data available at this time, and 18 years in the Health Care field. I, in no way wish to encourage or discourage anyone, one way or the other, to either recieve or refuse the “swine flu” vaccination. My only wish was to help you make an informed decision on what is right for you, as the unique individual you are.

  12. 1976 my mom & her friend had the vaccine. they both developed breast cancer and both died about 5 years later. at some point I had a dream that the cancer was caused by the vaccine but had never realized there were so many reported serious side effects. that was before “google” was a household word.

  13. ImmuneRegen® Licenses Intellectual Property From University of Pittsburgh to Further Develop Proprietary Compound

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  15. In 1976, I too received the Swine Flu Vaccination. Back in 2003-2004, I developed a muscle disease. At first it was similiar to (GBS) Guillain-Barré Syndrome, then similar to (CIDP) Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. NO ONE in my biological family (I’m adopted) received the Swine Flu Vaccine, yet my adopted family all did. My father now has mild to moderate Parkinson’s, his younger brother died of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease not long after receiving the shot, the same disease that hit scientist Stephen Hawking and guitarist Jason Becker), his older brother has a severe case of Parkinson’s Disease, and his other younger brother has Bell’s Palsy. I’m to believe that none of this was caused from the 1976 Swine Flu Vaccination? I think not!

  16. i was told i had als after the flu shot of 1976 what is helping to get this out of the body is there any help

  17. Thanks for sharing this – the more people find out about the dangers of vaccines the better!

    If we want to be protected we should consider fueling our number one defense – our immune system.

    Tell people they can get a vaccine that may give them a horrible disease, and they still run for it.

    Tell people to stop smoking, drinking and eating garbage food and they can’t be bothered.

    You wonder about logic sometimes…

  18. Pingback: Something Is Fishy About The Swine Flu Pandemic - Evolving Wellness

  19. One Thing is forgotten here, God I think is touching us again, for some reason we are very busy of what we do, lets talk to Him and ask Him what we should do in this tough times. God Bless all of us.

  20. I learned a lot from this article. It’s scary when we take vaccines expecting that we will get well when in fact it has detrimental effects on us in the long run. I hope in the future something like this will not happen. I’m praying that our scientists, pharmaceutical industries and our government will be more vigilant regarding this matter.

    • Elizabeth Burns

      Oh!!! Do they give a sh*t about us????!!!! Corporations and government have souls???!!!! And God listens to prayers???!!!

  21. Read whole blog and found out presently after getting sick from the injection 1976 while i was in air Force 3 days, have not taken any since… at 45 y.o.a. had to quit work due to disc disease in spine ,arthritis in spine, today at least 2 disc are gone and on morphine and other drugs to cope // pain…54 @ 2009,,ten years i have been in and out of bed… will not trust gov.,,,,,, for any present flu shots or ever again…. no one else in my family has these problems … go figure for the present swine flu shots… have read the doctors blogs and manufacturers notes we are in deep delusion if we can trust the present government… signed d.a.vietnam vet…..read up b/4 you get swine shot whats in it……

  22. Pingback: Children are at high risk for swine flu. « HealthAndSurvival.com

  23. Frank N. Urnist

    More people died from the vaccine in 1976 than died from swine flu. You do the math, and if you still trust the govt. in this matter, then I guess you ride/rode the short bus.

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  27. Pingback: Swine Flu Vaccine, Will your family get one? - SVTPerformance


  29. Our government doesn’t think more of the miltary but much less if anything. Obama can’t even send McCrystal what he needs in Afganstan-so more lives are being lost now. He told him we can’t help you yet-put him off. McCrystal didn’t ask for a cup of coffee!!

    A-Its not a matter of fear but reality. Corruption is growing in leaps and bounds all around. Fear-there is healthy fear and bad fear. This includes the FDA, the politicians and the list goes on.

  30. My family doctor was trying to push the flu vaccine on me and I haven’t gotten the flu for 30 years or more. I told her no. She is a good doc -but are doctors required to mention it? Why is she asking more than one time? Do they get a pay off? I find it very annoying.

  31. My mother received the Swine flu vac in 1976 and I about lost her. I was 6 at the time and all was good until 1980 when she was put in the hospital for 7 weeks for Guillain-Barré Syndrome. My world was turned up side down at that point. As I can say now thanks to the Lord she has a good recovery and this is one family that will not be taking that shot of horror.

  32. Pingback: Swine Flu Fatigue | the duane storey

  33. winston hammersmith

    This is how it’s going to go down:
    All the well-balanced individuals that are capable of calmly assertaining fact from fiction through excellent critical thinking skills and logic will take the vaccine. Approximately 25 out of 40,000,000 will die and a few others will get sick, some with long-term illnesses. The H1N1 epidemic occurs. Those people that refused the vaccination through stupidity, paranoia and hysteria will ALL DIE. And the gene pool will finally be cleansed of you freaks. Thank the gods for natural selection.

  34. Im turning 17 in February, and honestly i dont know what to believe.

    I think this is blown way out of porportion and the government was just a little too quick to make another vaccine for “H1N1″

    …I find it slightly amusing that adults teach kids from a very young age not to lie and to be honest and then think they can get away with spinning the truth and only telling people what they want us to know…

    I wish they would stop thinking of money and think about the future. I know 17 is barely a child but that means we are the next young adults. All im saying is they better change something and soon because let me tell you, us young adults are the future and we will NOT stand for our children and grand children having half a story.

  35. Clinical trials? What kind of study are they doing? Do you honestly think they are injecting 2 kids with the vaccine and then exposing them both to the virus to see which gets sick? They are testing these vaccines on your kids! I’d love to know how many of the vaccine researchers have given their kids the shot?

  36. Pingback: I know, I know another one! - Page 2 - Children's Health & Nutrition Forum

  37. Pingback: Swine Flu H1N1 Symptoms – How To Protect Yourself | How To Protect Against Swine Flu

  38. In 1976 the va hospital gave me the swine flu vaccine.About four years ago I became afflicted with Periphreal neuopathy. Is there a known link between the vaccine in1976 and the miserable condition that I now have. Any info will be appreciated.

  39. That is because with the nasal shot and the regular shot they are putting the actually virus in you! I got a paper from work and my kids got papers from the school and they were both saying that….. i think they just want to get us sick!

  40. i took the shoot but i had to take it, its not like it was my choice, i took it since 4 days ago, i felt sick in a couple of days but im fine now, i hope to get more updates about the side effects cause its really make me sick even more of whats going on here… feel free to email me please..at SeoudyAhmed@hotmail.com

    Best regards.

  41. so did our ancestors not survive every disease out there to get us here alive and as well as possible ? is it not better to let nature weed out the few weak or is it better to cheat nature in the hope a few weak can survive to pass on weaker genes by breeding, maybe in 1 million years we will all be weakened and having to have 500 jabs before our 5th birthday and kept in air tight capsules until we are ten so our immune system has had time to build up strengh to allowed out into the world lol

  42. i took the swine flu shot in november 9th and i feel sick since then not really sick but have confusion trouble sleeping and feel like im losing my mind sometimes amd hard time to concentrate by the way i took 1 month before the swine flu shot a seasonal flu shot and pneumonia shut took because i hadnt the choice i have biabetes and i was craed to death to got the swine flu
    soo anyone took the swine shut and have that troubles i have now ?

  43. so did our ancestors not survive every disease out there to get us here alive and as well as possible ?

  44. So its a pointless exercise in trying to develop a vaccine.

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