Flu Vaccines Can Make Influenza Worse: Study

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A universal flu vaccine sounds like a good idea, especially if you’re on the fence about vaccinations. There would, at least, be fewer injections. However, one researcher has shown that a flu vaccine can result in far more virulent infection when exposed to a similar strain of flu virus—and another has found out why & also demonstrated that the risk of worse infection applies to upcoming universal flu vaccines.

Pig with Gas Mask, by Guilherme Tavares

Pig with Gas Mask, by Guilherme Tavares (Hypodermic added)

by Heidi Stevenson

As documented by a new study, getting a flu vaccination can result in coming down with a more virulent influenza. This phenomenon was noted during the swine flu pandemic-that-wasn’t a couple of years ago, but pooh-poohed by skeptics.

In the study[1] published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, pigs were given a universal flu vaccine of the type currently under development. They developed a more virulent form of influenza that readily turned into pneumonia when exposed to a strain similar to the variety used in the vaccine.

This supports the work of Dr. Danuta Skowronski, of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, who investigated the data related to the 2009 swine flu “pandemic”. She noted that people who had received the seasonal flu vaccine in the fall of 2008 were more likely to fall ill when the “pandemic” swine flu came around the following spring and summer. Skeptics, of course, denied her findings. Regarding Skowronski’s research, she stated to The Canadian Press[2]:

I think … what they’re showing is a biological mechanism that warrants further evaluation in terms of its relevance to the use of seasonal vaccines in humans and what that may mean for the next pandemic threat. …

… It’s concerning, obviously, because if this is the mechanism, then it means there needs to be a lot more … attention paid to these universal vaccine candidates that are targeting that stalk antibody.

The “stalk antibody” refers to the part of a virus that the developers of a “universal” vaccine hope to target. Here’s what Dr. Skowronski is referring to:


The old way of making flu vaccines requires that flu viruses be grown in a medium, generally eggs. This process is time consuming and expensive. Now, recombinant DNA—that is, genetic engineering—is used. Bacteria are engineered to grow flu antigens—in some cases, adjuvants, or combinations of the two.

The antigens that are grown in bacteria are similar to bits of the hemagglutinin (HA) of a flu virus. This HA grown by bacteria is processed to become the antigen in a flu virus vaccine.

There are a limited number of HA types – 17 – and most of them do not infect humans. However, there are far more than 17 types of influenza viruses. Ten possible subtypes, called neuraminadases (NAs) can be associated with each HA type. These combinations determine the different types of flu, which are labeled as H-number-N-number.

H refers to HA , N refers to NA, and the numbers refer to the particular type of each. There are 17 types of HA and 10 types of NA, and each combination defines a particular type of influenza. Swine flu is the familiar H1N1, and H5N1 is a type of bird flu that’s been known to infect humans.

Here’s a summary:

  • Bacteria are genetically engineered to grow flu virus antigens that duplicate bits of HAs.
  • Each type of influenza is identified by a combination of one of 17 types of HA and one of 10 types of NA.
  • Thus, flu types are named according to the HA/NA combination, such as H5N1 or H7N9.

Universal Flu Vaccine

Hemagglutinin, that part of a virus that sticks out and becomes the target of antibodies, can be thought of as shaped like a lollipop, so that there’s a stem and a head. The entire lollipop-shaped HA is classified as one of the 17 types. Current flu recombinant DNA vaccines target molecules of the head, making them effective only for a single HxNx variety. That is, a vaccine against H1N1 is effective only against type H1N1 flu, but cannot protect against H1N2 flu.

The goal of universal flu vaccine development is to target the stem. The idea is that targeting the stem would create antibodies to all flus of a single HA type. Thus, the researchers believe that a “universal” flu vaccine against type H1 hemagglutinin would be effective against all H1 type flus, not just a single type. Likewise, a “universal” flu vaccine against type H2 would protect against all H2 type flus, and so forth.


The study produced by Dr. Vincent and her team demonstrated that pigs vaccinated against H1N2 type flu suffered an “enhanced pneumonia and disease” on being infected with H1N1 flu. Their investigation showed that antibodies created by the vaccine formed against the stem area of HA, not the head.[3]

Note that both the HA types involved in the pig experiment were H1. They were vaccinated against the H1N2 type of flu, but infected with the H1N1 type. The vaccine against H1N2 caused some of the antibodies to respond to the stem of the HA, not just the head, resulting in cross reactivity. This resulted in a reaction with the lungs of pigs when infected with H1N1 type flu, resulting in a more virulent flu and pneumonia. The authors stated:

These findings should be considered during the evaluation of universal influenza [of a certain type].

This appears to confirm Dr. Skowronski’s observations that people who had been vaccinated against one flu type were at risk for a more virulent infection by a different, but similar one. It should also, according to Dr. Vincent and her co-researchers, be cause for concern in the development of universal flu vaccines that utilize this approach.

Precautionary Principle?

As ever, what we’re seeing in the mad rush to develop new influenza vaccines is an utter lack of concern for the precautionary principle. Where there’s money to be made in the massive antigen quantities that recombinant DNA can produce, the approach is to go full-steam ahead. Simply make claims that the vaccines are fully tested for effectiveness and safety. Whether it’s true is not a concern—only whether they can sell the product.

When risks show up, as they did when Dr. Skowronski found that previous vaccination resulted in more severe cases of swine flu, they’re denied and ignored.

What do you suppose will happen now that a scientific study has clearly documented that influenza vaccination can result in significantly worse cases of flu if the vaccine strain is similar to the infectious strain? You can be fairly sure that nothing will slow these insane pharmaceutical firms and their mad scientists. After all, the major news media haven’t touched this story.

This information about the serious risk inherent in the development of a universal flu vaccine is already being suppressed.

Big Pharma and their regulatory toadies will see to it that nothing gets in the way of universal flu vaccines—and the propaganda to be vaccinated will be ratcheted up to spread lies about how your health and that of everyone around you is dependent on getting your flu vaccine.

You may find this article on new recombinant DNA technology used in vaccines, but with a focus on its use in adjuvants: New Generation of Vaccine Adjuvants: Worst Ever?


  1. Vaccine-Induced Anti-HA2 Antibodies Promote Virus Fusion and Enhance Influenza Virus Respiratory Disease; Science Translational Medicine; Surender Khurana, Crystal L. Loving, Jody Manischewitz, Lisa R. King, Phillip C. Gauger, Jamie Henningson, Amy L. Vincent, and Hana Golding; DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3006366.
  2. Study raises red flag for universal flu vaccine; The Canadian Press; Helen Branswell; 28 August 2013.
  3. Influenza, an ever-evolving target for vaccine development. Understanding Evolution, February 2013.