Have you seen the tragic video of Desiree Jennings, the beautiful 25 year old cheerleader who was struck with dystonia ten days after receiving a seasonal (not H1N1) flu shot? The correlation between the timing of the flu shot and the onset of the disorder is reported in this story as “doctors” saying the flu shot is what caused the dystonia. Apparently, Jennings’ own doctor is not among them: from the LA Examiner article: “Jennings doctor has stated she has come down with the disorder but there does not seem to be a solid connection that it was positively caused by her getting a flu vaccination.”
Irresponsible, sensationalist “journalism” is offensive in and of itself, but in this case, it could very well be murderous. How many people will see this video, and decide against immunizing themselves and their children? Why did Inside Edition choose not to discuss the known causes and contributory factors for dystonia (hint: flu shots/vaccinations not on the list)? They did show us pictures of Mrs. Jennings in her cheerleading costume, in between shots of her demonstrating her bizarre and devastating neurological symptoms. Did they provide any facts at all? Lots of vaguely terrifying allegations that the flu shot did this to her, yes, but did they present any scientific facts? Well, they did mention that this form of the disorder strikes 1/1,000,000 people. (By comparison, the chance of being struck by lightning in any given year is 1/700,000 — no word on how many lightning strike victims had had flu shots, but hey Inside Edition, why not do a story on the possibility vaccinations cause increased electrical conductivity? Hmm?)
A commenter on the LA Examiner story said their grandma had this disorder, and had passed away as a result, and — shockingly enough — it turns out she had had a flu shot that year! What are the chances, a senior citizen getting a seasonal flu shot? And just think about it! Senior citizens probably get more flu shots than any other demographic, and they die of random causes ALL THE TIME. Coincidence? You tell me. Wait — don’t. Instead, please repeat after me: CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION.
There is nothing whatsoever to connect the flu shot to the onset of the disorder except a week and a half. Could the fever have triggered neurological problems? Maybe!!! HOLY SHIT, nothing else ever causes fever at all, so clearly no one should get a flu shot!
The CDC reported today that forty-six states are reporting widespread influenza activity at this time. This many reports of widespread activity are unprecedented during seasonal flu.
Vaccine hysteria has terrible consequences. Before you start throwing pseudo-science at me about it, please, please go read this article. Then check out Michael Shermer’s open letter to Bill Maher, an otherwise sensible fellow who seems to have caught this crazy anti-vaxxor bug. You might also check out Science-Based Medicine. Then go get your flu shot.