Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More on the Flu - History of Vaccination Policy

Dear Friends,

As I review my overflowing flu files, I am struck by the revelation of the continuing history of vaccination policy. Some things never change, and that is true in regards to vaccination. The outline for promoting vaccines is here. Notice how vaccine advocates take years grooming and finding “evidence” so that the public will accept vaccines for all age groups. Here are some highlights, and I have again underlined things I think are important for you to notice.

Hippocrates magazine November/December, 1988, “To Get the Shot, or Not?” by Barbara Kelley. “There’s a 50-50 chance that this year’s vaccine will be another mismatch… The natural unpredictability of influenza is the reason flu shots are so often off the mark.”

If you go without a shot and catch the flu this year, the natural defenses you’ll develop against a future infections will be broader and last longer than the protection any vaccine could provide.” Among experts, one of the more candid is Thomas Cate of the Influenza Research Center at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine. ‘If your health is such that flu represents a nuisance, not a life-threatening illness,’ Cate says, ‘you’re probably better off getting sick now and being over with it for the next several years than trying to get the vaccine every year.’”

“Flu Vaccine Can Protect Unborn Babies” was the October 25, 1990, article in the Watertown (NY) Daily Times. ”Vaccinating pregnant women for flu helps protect their babies from the disease after birth, is safe and could point the way to other such vaccines, according to Baylor Medical School researchers… Researchers believe flu immunity passed from a mother to child lasts abut four months…”

“Flu Shots Win Couple Trip to Fla.” was the December 17, 1992, headline in the Watertown (NY) Daily Times. It told the story of an elderly couple in Rochester, NY, who “…play SHOTTO—a lottery game concocted by Monroe County health officials to entice residents to get their flu shots…Health officials had feared there might be fewer people getting flu shots this year because there was no federal grant to subsidize the program. The county asked $5 this year per shot, but no one was turned away for lack of money.”

The August 13, 1993, issue of MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the Massachusetts Medical Society, had “Final Results: Medicare Influenza Vaccine Demonstration—Selected States, 1988-1992.”

“In 1988, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA and CDC) began a congressionally mandated 4-year demonstration project to evaluate the cost-effectiveness to Medicare of providing influenza vaccine to Medicare beneficiaries… The Medicare Influenza Demonstration increased annual influenza vaccine coverage and measured both health and economic benefits of influenza vaccine for Medicare. The perspective of the payer used in this study was important in securing coverage for this benefit; however, it differs from cost-effectiveness studies of prevention strategies that usually use a societal perspective and include all direct costs, not just those of the payer. In this study, only the costs paid by Medicare were included. Other costs, such as those incurred by patients for travel or by providers for patient’s visits or vaccine administration above the amount paid by Medicare, were not included…The demonstration’s success in vaccine delivery resulted from focused interventions to overcome common barriers to adult vaccination, including the absence of a comprehensive vaccine delivery system, limited reimbursement mechanism, and a lack of vaccination programs where adults congregate. No statutory requirements mandating vaccination of Medicare beneficiaries were necessary to implement this program.”

“19 at Time Get AIDS Test After Flu Shot Needles Are Reused” was the headline in the November 6, 1993, issue of the New York Times. This story was in regards to Time magazine employees who had gotten their flu shots in the workplace. “That method (reusing needles) is not appropriate, according to the CDC… Pamela Howell, a spokeswoman for the centers said the risk of infection was considerably less when injecting someone than when drawing blood.”

“Fearing the Flu” was a short news brief in the January 21, 1996, Syracuse (NY) Herald American. “Experts agree a pandemic is in the cards sometime and will require a huge mobilization to vaccinate the entire U.S. population.”

“The Cold Facts About Flu Vaccines” by Paula Linquist in the November, 1997, issue of Alive magazine (Canada) mentions thimerosal and formaldehyde as vaccine preservatives. The article also talks about common sense actions to prevent the flu, as well as “…a number of homeopathic remedies which have produced excellent results in the treatment of colds and flu…”

”Disease detectives untangle mystery of mutant flu virus” by Bob Williams was a page one article in the News & Observer, Raleigh, North Carolina on May 31, 1999. “The discovery of a hybrid of human and pig viruses in a North Carolina swine herd recently sent scientists scrambling to determine whether the new bug was a threat to people.”

Quoted in the article was Dr. Gene Erickson, director of microbiological testing at the State Department of Agriculture’s animal disease diagnostic lab in Raleigh. “His concern deepened when he learned that some of the sick sows had been specifically immunized for classic swine flu. ‘It started to look like we might have a novel, new strain of swine influenza on our hands.’… Pigs are ideal mixing vessels, because they can pick up viruses from both birds and human. And since viruses are always mutating, pigs can produce viruses that have a mix of genetic traits from both birds and humans. After that, it is possible for a potentially deadly strain of avian influenza virus to make the relatively short genetic hop from pigs to people… By October… lab had figured out that the samples were a “reassorted virus,” a novel strain with traits of both human and swine virus. More specifically, the lab concluded that the virus had originated in humans and jumped to pigs… Dr. Nancy Cox, an influenza researcher at the CDC said “’You have veterinary consequences as well as human consequences of this interspecies transmission.’”

“Military community helps determine flu vaccine recipe” was the Army Times headline for January 17, 2000. In her article, Deborah Funk wrote “…what many don’t know is that information collected from military members and their families around the world helps determine the vaccine’s recipe in any given year. The U.S. military community is not the only population that is monitored to keep tabs on viruses in circulation. But their medical information, like that of many other groups in many different countries, helps global public health authorities complete the picture… the puzzle pieces are fed through a hierarchy of public health networks, ultimately reaching the World Health Organization.

WHO coordinates four international collaborating centers, including the CDC, to help determine ingredients for the flu vaccine, based on virus surveillance. The CDC collects its information from U.S. civilian physicians and military members, and from foreign countries. The viruses are then compared and analyzed. That information is forwarded to both the WHO and the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.”

The November 20, 2000, issue of Army Times headline was “Flu shots suspended in Europe, the Pacific.”

“Shipments of influenza vaccine that arrived in Europe and the Pacific in October may have lost at least some of their potency because the vaccine became colder during shipment than the drug manufacturer recommended… A worker with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the CDC did not have data but that she did not think use of the vaccine posed a safety risk, although the efficacy of the vaccine might have been affected.”

Another theory for the 1918 flu pandemic was printed in Discover magazine, March, 2001, p.11 “The Fifth-Column Epidemic. “…demographer Andrew Noymer of the University of California at Berkeley thinks people are overlooking a second culprit: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the tuberculosis bacterium… Between one quarter and one half of all Americans felled by the flu were already infected with tuberculosis… which helps explain why so many who died were adults. If Noymer is correct, another similarly virulent flu epidemic here would not be so lethal today…”

“Flu shots can cut health costs” was the March 18, 2001, headline of the Richmond (Virginia) Times Dispatch. “Giving flu shots to all 95 million working Americans, ages 18-64 could save the nation as much as $1.3 billion annually” said Dr. Kristin Nichol of the Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research at the VA Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota. Her research was published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, an American Medical Association publication.

“…even though healthy people tend to recover in a few days, they still log up to 75 million lost workdays and 22 million doctor visits annually, the study said… In 1994, Nichol and her colleagues published a study that said immunizing elderly Americans saves the nation hundreds of millions of dollars annually in health care costs and cuts the death rate by 54%… In her latest study, Nichol used a sophisticated computer model to examine the health, labor and economic statistics from a variety of influenza studies. The model took into account rates of illness from influenza, time lost from work, hourly wages, the costs of vaccinations and other direct and indirect costs…”

The Syracuse (New York) Post Standard of August 3, 2004, had an article by the Associated Press “Mother’s flu linked to schizophrenia.”

“A new study adds more evidence to a body of research that suggests the children of some women who get the flu while pregnant are at higher risk for developing schizophrenia… The researchers emphasized that the overall risks are still ‘quite small.’ (The study appears in August’s Archives of General Psychiatry, lead author Dr. Alan Brown.) “The study involved 189 women--64 of whom had children who developed schizophrenia and 125 whose children did not… Other research has suggested infections other than flu might be involved, including measles and genital herpes during pregnancy, which may adversely affect the developing brain…” Note the article for 2008 below.

2005 was an interesting year regarding reporting for flu vaccines. Here are 3:

February 15, 2005, the Syracuse (NY) Post Standard had an AP article “Study: Flu shots not saving any elderly lives: Researchers advocate shifting focus of vaccination programs to children.”

“A study based on more than three decades of U.S. data suggests that giving flu shots to the elderly has not saved any lives. Led by National Institutes of Health researchers, the study challenges government dogma (paper published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researcher Lone Simonsen of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases). “The study should influence flu prevention strategy, Simonsen said, perhaps by expanding vaccination to schoolchildren, the biggest spreaders of the virus. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans no change. ‘We think the best way to help the elderly is to vaccinate them,’ said CDC epidemiologist William Thompson. ‘These results don’t contribute to changing vaccine policy.’”

“Universal flu shots urged,” was the headline of USA Today of October 31, 2005, by Anita Manning. “Vaccine experts are considering recommending annual flu vaccine not just for those at highest risk of serious illness, but for everyone.” This was the result of a conference on flu vaccine policy sponsored by Emory University’s Program for Vaccine Policy and Development, Walter Orenstein, director. “The general concern is there is a lot more (illness and death) out there that we don’t seem to be preventing with our current strategy,” Orenstein says.

Apparently, the experts at the conference wanted universal flu vaccination, but the final consensus was that “…it should be a stepwise process, starting with widening flu shot recommendations to include children ages 2 to 5.”

“Vaccines Can’t Stop Flu Mutation” by Candice Choi was the headline for the October 21, 2005, issue of The Journal, Ogdensburg, NY. “Flu vaccines may prove ineffective when scientists fail to anticipate how the virus may mutate… The study conducted by The Institutes of Genome Research with the State Health Department’s Wadsworth Center was published… in the journal Nature and posted on its website. “The 2003-2004 flu season is an example of a year when the flu virus had mutated so that the vaccine was useless…As a result, many people who had been vaccinated ultimately became sick.”

“Infected with Insanity” by Melinda Wenner was the title of an April/May, 2008, article in Scientific American Mind ( Subtitle: “The evidence is mounting: mental illness might be caused by microbes.”

“According to a growing body of research, the culprit is surprising: the flu… In 2006 scientists at Columbia University asserted that up to one fifth of all schizophrenia cases are caused by prenatal infections… To date, most of the correlations found between infections and psychiatric conditions are just that--correlations. There is no conclusive evidence that infections actually cause these diseases, it could be, for example, that carrying the genes for mental illness makes a person more likely to behave in a way that exposes him or her to a virus… Some studies suggest that infections per se are not responsible for disrupting brain development; rather the body’s immune response to infection affects the nervous system and does the damage… The immune system may inadvertently harm the brain in another way, too--and not only in a fetus. Although current scientific evidence most strongly links mental illness to prenatal infections, many researchers are also investigating the possibility that childhood or even adult infections could cause psychiatric conditions by triggering an autoimmune reaction ... Even the small body of work that now exist could have immediate policy implications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommend that all pregnant women get flu shots--a dangerous proposition if immune response, rather than infection itself, is responsible for harming the fetal brain. ‘I don’t think they have considered this risk. In fact, I know they haven’t considered this risk,’ California Institute of Technology biologist Paul H. Patterson says, referring to the CDC. ‘If you take it seriously and vaccinate everybody, then what’s going to happen?’ Researchers cannot yet predict how often a prenatal immune response might lead to fetal brain damage, but even if it happens less than 1% of the time, vaccinating an entire population of pregnant women could affect thousands of children… Future drugs and vaccines may target the infections directly or go after the immune system, controlling its interference with the developing brain or preventing an autoimmune attack on brain cells.”

The article had a chart, “Connecting the Dots” that said “Recent studies have found links between a huge variety of infections and psychiatric ailments, from both prenatal and postnatal exposures. Here are some of the best-supported correlations: schizophrenia and autism--Lyme disease and measles.” To see the whole chart and read the whole article, I strongly urge you to go to the website (


I hope the above gave you an idea of how vaccine promoters work. They want vaccination for all, as was discussed in 2005 articles above (and which I have known and followed for over 20 years), yet they also know they have to go about it in a piece-meal approach. And they have succeeded.

If vaccines can’t stop mutations, then what is happening to our bodies? Could it be that vaccines are causing mutations? After all, our bodies have been pumped with a number of dead and live-virus vaccines over the years. Where is the research that shows the cumulative effect of the mandated vaccines, much less the yearly flu shot? Why then are vaccines still being pushed on us, with more to come? Perhaps the idea to eradicate all diseases and suffering, while admirable, is an insanity and never ending.

Even when evidence, such as with the elderly, shows that the vaccine does not save elderly lives, the CDC is still adamant that, not only the elderly still get vaccinated, but now children—anything to expand the immunization program. We are now caught in the web of “entitlement” and it is virtually impossible for us to extricate ourselves.

It is my hope that the public reaches a tipping point sooner, rather than later, to turn this around. There is still time, but it is running short.

Bonnie Plumeri Franz

Monday, September 14, 2009

Natural Flu Prevention and Treatment

Dear Friends,

As you are well aware, when it comes to the flu – pandemic or not – the advice given is to get the flu shot, or since 2003, the nasal mist vaccine, “FluMist” (influenza virus vaccine, Live, Intranasal). (You might want to be careful in the pharmacies, or places such as Wal-Mart, when they do this, for the droplets spread and might spread the flu to you – BPF.) However, below are some articles regarding natural and alternative choices you might want to use for you and your child that you are not hearing about in the mainstream media.

Dr. James Balch’s October, 2000, newsletter “Prescriptions for Healthy Living: Alternative Choices for Health & Longevity” had an article “Boost Immune Power NOW to Prevent Winter Colds and the Flu.” In it he stated “Why I Don’t Recommend Flu Shots – Believe it or not, the chemicals in flu vaccines – as a matter of fact, all vaccines – actually depress your immune system… And if your immune system is weakened by age, poor nutrition, or chronic illness, injecting a live virus into your body via a flu shot may backfire – even healthy folks report coming down with the flu after receiving the shot! If you suffer from a chronic illness, check with your doctor before deciding to forego the shot. But remember that the best and safest defense against the flu is a hale and hearty immune system.”

Dr. Balch’s suggestions were:
Vitamin C – ”You can take up to 2,000 mg of vitamin C every 1-2 hours. The only side effect you may have at high doses like this is loose stools. If this happens, just decrease the dose and symptoms will quickly disappear. The minimum dose is 1,000 mg. 3-6 times a day.”

Vitamin A, Zinc and Herbal Immune-Boosters, such as garlic, Echinacea, licorice, astragalus, goldenseal, elderberry, ginger, and yarrow.

The Nassau Guardian in the Bahamas of December 31, 2001, had a feature called “Nutritionist’s Corner” written by Betty Adderley. “Anti-flu battle plan” was her topic, and she recommended garlic & thyme (“Research shows that these two commodities work best when blended together”); A-beta-care, “a powerful antioxidant formula high in selenium, E and beta-carotene”; absorbent C; bee propolis “It is ideal for the flu, asthma and sinus conditions. Unlike regular prescribed antibiotics that can only be taken for limited periods, propolis can be taken daily without any side effects”; “Forever Kids” vitamins for kids and adults; and aloe liquid soap.

Of course, we are concerned with what to give our children, and in “Naturally Healthy,” a newsletter from Osteomed II (, Winter, 2002, Dr. Cheryl Leuthaeuser has “…Favorites for Immune Support: Sambucol for Kids (black Elderberry Juice… Can be used for 6-8 weeks at a time in children as young as 12 months… Try mixing a little Aloe Vera Juice in your child’s breakfast drink. This product works well as an anti-inflammatory and healing agent. Echinacea is an herb that is used in acute infections… Try these kids favorites: Rhino Chewy C with Echinacea or their ice pops or lolly pops.”

“Your Child Has the Flu: What’s a Mother to Do?” was the January/February, 2005 article in MOTHERING magazine by Lauren Feder, MD. This was a very comprehensive article that listed homeopathic remedies (such as Dolivaxil Influenzinum 2004-2005) “... that has been used in Europe for years during the flu season. Each year, the World Health Organization predicts which flu viruses are most likely to infect humans and cause flu symptoms. Based on this information, the homeopathic solution is reformulated each year…” The author goes on to list other homeopathic remedies, dietary guidelines, nutritional supplements, herbal treatments, Bach flower remedies from Smart Medicine for A Healthier Child, by Janet Zand, ND, et al and gemmotherapy (herbal remedies).

“Fighting avian flu: Homeopathy and alternative remedies” by Bill Strubbe in the October, 2006, issue of Alive magazine, Canada. This article starts out with a research statement that “…the breeding place for major flu viruses is in the intestines of wild ducks... If the breeding place for avian flu is found in the guts of wild ducks, it makes sense that the homeopathic remedies are found there too… In anticipation of a possible avian flu pandemic, in November, 2005, about 150 homeopaths gathered in Paris to collaborate on strategies. Among the concrete actions to emerge from the conference were the creation of an Internet site for homeopaths to exchange breaking information about homeopathic treatments of the avian flu and the formation of a scientific committee with representatives from the various international homeopathic organizations to implement proposed studies and trials… 'We also have a website for public information (see' stated Andrea Groff from the Ontario Homeopathic Association.”

“In addition to homeopathy, other preventive measures can be taken… echinacea and osha root… as a preventive dose, one dropper twice a day for several days; if sick, one dropper every half hour for the first 3-4 hours to saturate the system, then ease back to 4-6 droppers daily… An extract of elderberries is another supplement scientifically proven to thwart the flu... Don’t forget the old immune-boosting standby, vitamin C. Experts such as Linus Pauling suggest that the first sign of flu, you should begin taking vitamin C orally, between 1,000 and 4,000 mg. per hour until the bowels become loose. Once “bowel tolerance” is reached, maintain or slightly decrease the dose until the bowels normalize… It has been shown that when the proper pH is maintained (slightly alkaline), the body is less susceptible to communicable diseases.”

“To ward off illness it’s crucial to eliminate acidic foods such as sugars, coffee, greasy foods, hydrogenated fats, dairy, and carbonated drinks,” says Nathalie Babazadeh, licensed acupuncturist. “’Boost the immune system by exercising, getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and eating properly, which means lots of greens, whole grains, and enough easily-digested protein to help build antibodies.’” Because antiviral vaccines may not be effective against resistant strains of the avian flu virus, your best medicine is, as always, preventive medicine.”

“Treating Seasonal or Pandemic Flu at Home” the Individual and Family Handbook published in 2007 by Channing Bete Company (, item number PS91517) is a very helpful compilation of basics, infection control and patient care steps to take for yourself and your family.

“Blood could be key to defeating bird flu: Useful antibodies isolated in survivors” is the article of USA Today, May 30, 2007, by Lauran Neergaard of the Associated Press. It states, “Scientists have long suspected that culling immune-system molecules from survivors could provide a new therapy for the hard-to-treat H5N1 flu strain… This approach is called “passive immunotherapy,” and more crude forms of the approach have long been used to protect against certain viruses. Before hepatitis A vaccines, for example, anti-body-containing shots were common for tourists heading to developing countries (also hepatitis B)… And during the 1918 flu pandemic, the worst in history, doctors sometimes transfused blood directly from survivors to the newly sick, sometimes with good results… More work is needed before trying these purified antibodies in people. It’s standard to test flu vaccines and treatments in ferrets, which respond to influenza more like people do… Then the antibodies would need testing in healthy people, to see if they are safe.”

Tone magazine from Ottawa, Canada of December, 2007, had an article “Acupuncture fights colds and flu.” This article states, “It is advisable to come for acupuncture once or twice a month during cold and flu season to help strengthen your immune system and keep you healthy.”

The February 27, 2008, issue of The Press, Atlantic City, New Jersey, had a small article in the “Industry Spotlight” section, “Not bugged by the flu.” It went on to say “This might be the worst flu season in four years, but not everyone is suffering. Sales related to the flu will boost first-quarter profit for several companies… Prescriptions for Tamiflu are climbing. That’s good news for Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Roche Holding, which jointly developed the drug… Older patients sick with the flu are likely to contribute to higher hospital visits… Retail pharmacies… are likely to see higher sales of everything from prescription drugs to over-the-counter cough syrups. Strong February sales figures from the companies could boost shares, the analysts write.”

April, 2009, “Swine Flu Travel Health Alert Notice” from the CDC tells how to prevent the spread of swine flu: “ …when you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve (if you do not have a tissue). Throw used tissues in a trash can. After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel. Do not go to work, school, or travel while ill.

“Get Ready for H1N1” is an article by A.W. Martin, DC, Ph.D from Healthy Directions, August/Sept., 2009, Canada ( Suggestions are: “Do a broad spectrum probiotic treatment for 30 days… Maintain an alkaline Ph… The best alkaline foods are fruits and vegetables… Increasing the fiber intake really helps one to become alkaline… Oil of oregano is anti-fungal, anti-viral, natural antibiotic… Take several drops a day, or spray your tooth brush two times a day and brush your gums vigorously for maximum absorption… Vitamin D3… in the fall, one should take 2000 I.U. a day…”

The July, 2009, issue of Alive magazine, Canada, had an article by Stuart Harris “SARS, bird flu, swine flu…: What should you do?”: It suggests, “Along with eating right, drinking plenty of water, and exercising daily, we can prepare for the next contagious bug by taking proven immune-boosting supplements. Check with your natural health practitioner…”

The following is a list of recommendations: “Multivitamin & mineral, esp. B vitamins… Echinacea… it should be taken at the first sign of illness but for no longer than 3 weeks… Vitamin E… supplement with up to 200 IU daily… Vitamin C… Since the body does not manufacture this vitamin on its own, take up to 2,000 mg a day… Zinc… take up to 50 mg daily… Oregano oil… is taken orally for up to 21 days at a time… Coenzyme Q10… take up to 200mg daily… L-glutathione… take up to 50 mg per day… Selenium… take up to 200 mcg daily… Probiotics… choose a daily supplement with up to 10 billion active cultures.”

I urge you to check out health food stores for alternatives and alternative health practitioners for more specific guidelines, especially for use in children for some caution is needed. Even if you or your children get the flu vaccines, remember what Dr. Balch stated above. I think it is a good account of why some people still get the flu or get sick after getting vaccinated – namely, vaccines depress your immune system and, ironically, make you vulnerable to whatever may be going around. However, I think the editorial of the July 10, 2009, issue of Ottawa South EMC Community Newspaper says it best: “Panicking is not the best solution… Panicking is no way to deal with the matter, but rather common sense and good hygiene will help the most in the long run.” Perhaps, some of the above suggestions will help you to be confident and not panic.

Bonnie Plumeri Franz

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lyme Disease

Dear Friends,

Summer brings people to enjoy more of the outdoors, and thus exposes many of us to Lyme Disease. In reviewing my files, I thought the following information needed to be circulated:

“…it wasn’t until 1976 that the American public first heard the term 'Lyme disease' in connection with numerous reported cases of illnesses after tick bites in the community of Lyme, Connecticut… tick-born illnesses or infested tick populations have been reported in nearly every state… If left untreated, the disease can progress to a more chronic stage (sometimes even several months later)… Standard medical treatment is with antibiotic therapy which is not always entirely effective and may cause spirochete die-off discomfort during the first few days. Antibiotics often cause secondary yeast infections as a side effect, so physicians and nutritionists often recommend the use of acidophilus supplements. It is imperative that antibiotic therapy be used due to the seriousness of the disease…” (from Herbal Insights Reflections, Summer, 1996, edition of Herbal Insights, Boulder, CO).

However, there are possible herbal preventives for landscaping and gardening and some herbs that may help the symptoms of Lyme disease. They are listed in the Handbook of Plants with Pest-Control Properties, also from Herbal Insights Reflections, undated.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) began surveilling Lyme Disease in 1982, and it became a nationally notifiable disease in January, 1991. In 1999, there were 16,273 cases reported. “The large number of reported LD cases during June and July reflects the seasonal peak…” (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 16, 2001, Vol. 50, No. 10).

In The New England Journal of Medicine, May 13,1993, some doctors wrote “… prevention of Lyme disease is desirable, it does not follow that prevention should be pursued regardless of the costs. Decisions about treatment must balance the benefits against the risks and monetary costs of specific strategies.”

Health Check,” a column by Dr. Bob Arnot in Good Housekeeping, June, 1995, was devoted to “The Lowdown on Lyme Disease.” As with many diseases (as well as adverse vaccine reactions), he stated “Many people claim that the true incidence is even higher because many cases go unreported while others are missed. But some doctors believe that patients are being diagnosed with LD when they’re really suffering from something else.” “Much of the problem (of diagnosis) has to do with LD’s confusing array of symptoms. The clearest sign, the appearance of a bull’s-eye-shaped rash within weeks of a tick bite, is missing in up to 40% of cases… Although these are commonly called “deer ticks,” they can also be found on mice, raccoons, and other animals… A dog or cat who spends any time outdoors can be very susceptible to LD.” He then gives recommendations from a New York City veterinarian: Use special insecticides on your property (Daminix). Apply flea and tick formulas to your pet’s fur or a combination of garlic and brewer’s yeast added to the animal’s food daily. Scrupulously check your pet for ticks. They, too, can have the bull’s-eye-shaped rash and be treated with oral antibiotics.

As with almost any disease, the search becomes one for a vaccine. That was also the case for Lyme Disease. In 1993 clinical trials were underway. In the November 21, 1993, issue of The New York Times, Dr. Peter Krause, a scientist from the University of Connecticut, told an audience, “The best approach to this disease is prevention, and the best way to do that is with a vaccine.” Scientists are optimistic that this vaccine will help reclaim the wilderness for human use in the many parts of the country where fear of Lyme has kept residents indoors during the tick season.”

In the February 1, 1999, issue of Health News, the editors state “Even as the FDA approved the vaccine, the agency said that Lyme vaccination is not a simple process, and it doesn’t completely protect against Lyme disease… The vaccine is most effective only after 3 shots… Three shots provided about 80% protection… Only healthy people aged 15 to 70 participated, so the vaccine isn’t approved for anyone younger than 15 or older than 70, or for anyone with rheumatoid arthritis or certain heart conditions…”

Lyme expert, Dr. David Volkman from SUNY Stony Brook, stated:

"Vaccines are an extremely important tool for protecting against infectious diseases, and Lyme vaccination is no exception. Several other vaccines to prevent Lyme Disease are being developed and may eventually make human infection quite rare. The new vaccine is a promising step in that direction. But for now, vaccination against Lyme disease doesn’t make sense for most people. Although studies have shown that the vaccine can prevent Lyme disease in a majority of cases, there are several reasons you many not need or want to be vaccinated:

1) The Lyme vaccine involves more shots than most other vaccines. The timing of the 3 shots is also important…
2) We don’t yet know how long those 3 shots provide protection. It’s likely that the vaccine’s effects will wane, and that you’ll need booster shots in the second and third years after the initial series of shots to maintain immunity indefinitely. Moreover, we don’t know the long-term effects of repeated doses of the Lyme vaccine.” [sound familiar??!!]
3) The vaccine may not be safe for people at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis…
4) Being vaccinated may give you a false sense of security. Even after you’ve had all three shots, you still need to take the normal precautions against Lyme disease because the vaccine isn’t 100% effective…
5) Only people aged 15 to 70 participated in the clinical trials on which FDA approval was based, so we don’t know if it works (and it isn’t approved) for anyone younger or older. Unfortunately, almost a quarter of the people infected are children…
6) Being educated to recognize Lyme disease is far better protection than the vaccine, and it is important even if you are vaccinated…

"Because it’s usually recognized and treated early enough to avoid any long-term problems, and because there are so many unknowns about the new vaccine, I recommend that most people think twice before being vaccinated." (Reported in Health News, February 1, 1999)

Dr. Volkman then goes on to say who should be vaccinated—those who spend a lot of time outdoors, landscape and utility workers in high-risk areas. If you live in or visit such areas, but aren’t outdoors a lot, he suggests talking with your doctor. However, “…You’ll still have to be vigilant about your children who are at greatest risk for infection but can’t yet be vaccinated. And remember that even if you are vaccinated, you need to take the same precautions as always.”

The March 26, 1999, issue of The Medical Letter (New Rochelle, NY) told of the first human vaccine for prevention of Lyme Disease was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in patients 15-70: “The highest incidence is in people who live, work or walk in grassy or wooded areas… Untreated, symptoms may last for weeks to months… A single treatment with antibiotics cures 90% or more of patients with early disease. The Lyme vaccine is made from a recombinant outer surface protein… A 20-month double-blind, randomized trial in about 11,000 people 15 to 70 years old... 3 injections were 100% effective in preventing asymptomatic infection… Antibody levels, which rose with vaccination, by 8 months after the 3rd injection had fallen to near the lower limit of protective levels… the tick season usually begins in April… Lyme Disease vaccine is effective and has been well-tolerated, but its long-term safety is worrisome, and antibiotics are generally effective in treating early disease and preventing complications. How long vaccination remains protective is unknown; antibody levels suggest that frequent boosters many be necessary. Use of this vaccine should be sharply limited.”

In the May-June, 2002, issue of the FDA Consumer, an update stated that “Manufacturer Discontinues Only Lyme Disease Vaccine”: “The world’s only vaccine to prevent Lyme disease is being discontinued because of poor demand, according to the product’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, N.C. The FDA licensed LYMErix in December, 1998, to prevent Lyme disease, a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks. Initially, hundreds of thousands of people received the vaccine. However, sales plummeted after highly publicized reports that some users suffered arthritis-like symptoms, muscle pain and other ailments following vaccination. GlaxoSmithKline says that it is not discontinuing the product because of safety issues. The manufacturer maintains that the scientific record remains clear that the vaccine is safe and effective. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed that it found no unexpected safety problems with LYMErix after reviewing the data.”

The Clinical Advisor, June, 2008, discussed “New guidelines issued for Lyme disease” by Carl Sherman. “For the first time since 2000, the Infectious Diseases Society of American has revised its recommendations for managing and preventing the infection… it confirms and strengthens earlier recommendations for antibiotic treatment, adds a section on prophylaxis, and addresses in more detail the question of post-Lyme syndrome.” The new Guidelines are available at:

A booklet that I think may be helpful is published by Lyme Disease Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. April, 2008 was the printing of the 5th edition of “Lyme Disease and associated diseases THE BASICS: A plain-language introduction to tick-borne diseases” written by Douglas W. Fearn.

Some people seem to have been helped by the Ondamed machine, It is biofeedback (not covered by most insurance). It was invented in Germany. If you Google it, you will find a lot of descriptions and explanations.


The history of Lyme Disease and the Lyme disease vaccine are interesting to follow and to see how “they” think and how the issue is reported. Interesting that in February, 1999, Health News stated that the vaccine was 80% effective, yet in March, 1999, the Medical Letter stated the vaccine was 100% effective (3 doses). How are we to believe such different information and make a good decision? The vaccine, however, was different from virtually all other vaccines in that from the beginning it was not promoted for everyone and people were cautioned to “think twice” before getting it; also, emphasis was continually on being educated on how to dress to avoid ticks and how to spot one.

The vaccine was discontinued primarily because of “poor demand.” The real reason for that was because the vaccine really couldn’t be mandated by State legislatures (because the disease happens basically in a geographical location – woods, etc. – and relatively few people are exposed – those who live, work and visit there and landscapers, golfers, etc). Therefore, the vaccine manufacturer couldn’t be protected from lawsuits. (As required under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act, the vaccine must be mandated in order to protect the manufacturers and doctors.) However, should the day come when vaccine promoters can overcome the geographical locations of the disease, they will surely push for it to be mandated. Such is vaccine history.

Bonnie P. Franz