Send a Letter: Influenza Vaccine may increase the risk of Coronavirus Infection

Influenza Vaccine may increase the risk of Coronavirus Infection

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  • This email will be sent to the following people:

    Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt: [email protected]
    Shadow Minister for Health, Chris Bowen: [email protected]

    State Ministers for Health:

    ACT Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith, [email protected]
    ACT Shadow Health Minister: Vicki Dunne, [email protected]
    VIC Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos, [email protected]
    VIC Shadow Health Minister, Georgie Crozier, [email protected]
    NSW Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, [email protected]
    NSW Shadow Health Minister, Ryan Park, [email protected]
    SA Minister for Health, Stephen Wade, [email protected]
    QLD Minister for Health, Steven Miles, [email protected]
    QLD Shadow Health Minister, Ros Bates, [email protected]
    NT Minister for Health & Chief Medical Officer, Natasha Fyles, [email protected]
    NT Shadow Minister, Lia Finocchiaro [email protected]
    TAS Minister for Health, Jeremy Rockliff, [email protected]
    TAS Shadow Health Minister, Sarah Lovell, [email protected]
    WA Minister for Health, Roger Cook, [email protected]
    WA Shadow Health Minister, Zak Richard Francis Kirkup, [email protected]

    Australian Government Chief Medical Officer: Brendan Murphy [email protected]
    Acting Chief Health Officer: Dr Di Stevens [email protected]

    Chief Health Officers – each State
    ACT: Dr Kerryn Coleman [email protected]
    Executive Assistant ACT CHO [email protected]
    VIC: Professor Brett Sutton, [email protected]
    NSW: Dr Kerry Chant, [email protected]
    QLD: Dr Jeannette Young, [email protected]
    SA: Professor Paddy Phillips. [email protected]
    TAS: Nicola Dymond, [email protected]
    WA: Dr Andrew Robertston [email protected]
    Chair of Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport [email protected]


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  • To [recipient]

    Re: Influenza Vaccine may increase the risk of Coronavirus Infection

    I am writing to urgently express concern that you may not be up to date with the science showing that influenza vaccines can make recipients more susceptible to other respiratory viruses, including coronavirus. Several studies and medical journal articles discuss these unintended ‘non-specific’ side effects and I would like your scientific advisors to be aware of this information. I have made a list of findings from some reputable medical journals in relation to this below:

    1) Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated with Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine

    Receiving an influenza vaccine increased fivefold the risk of acute respiratory infections (ARI’s) caused by a group of non-influenza viruses, including coronaviruses. I am extremely concerned that most Australian children are about to receive a flu shot which may make them more susceptible to suffering serious effects from Covid-19. Presently, children are considered a low risk for suffering adverse effects from Covid-19, but receiving this year's influenza vaccine may make them more susceptible.

    2) Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017-2018 influenza season.

    Receiving influenza vaccination may increase the risk of other respiratory viruses, a phenomenon known as virus interference. Vaccine-derived virus interference was significantly associated with coronavirus and human metapneumovirus. While this study did not conclude that influenza vaccination caused viral interference with Covid-19, this should be urgently investigated as a possible consequence of administering influenza vaccine during a Covid-19 pandemic. This study was conducted on healthy adults, US military personnel who would be at peak physical fitness and be less inclined to catch other viruses, unlike the many immune-compromised people who receive a flu shot as routine medical care. I believe the results of this study should be taken seriously and be enough to warrant using the Precautionary Principle in relation to allowing those mandated to receive an influenza vaccine to make an informed decision to refuse the flu vaccine, without discrimination. This would particularly apply to healthcare and aged care workers who are mandated to receive a flu vaccine.

    3) Assessment of temporally-related acute respiratory illness following influenza vaccination

    This study found that, compared with unvaccinated children, children who received the influenza vaccine had an increased risk of acute respiratory illness (ARI) caused by non-influenza pathogens (not covered by the vaccine) during the 14-day post-vaccination period. Are we soon going to have a huge outbreak of Covid-19 or other respiratory illness in the Australian population, after receiving their flu vaccines?

    4) Increased Risk of Non-influenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated with Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine

    Influenza vaccine recipients had a higher risk of confirmed non-influenza respiratory virus infection (RR, 3.46; 95% CI, 1.19–10.1). The majority of the non-influenza respiratory virus detections were rhinoviruses and coxsackie/echoviruses, as well as coronavirus. The increased risk among vaccine recipients was also statistically significant. It was concluded that Influenza vaccine recipients may lack temporary non-specific immunity that protected against other respiratory viruses. Again, there is a clear risk for people receiving an influenza vaccine being more susceptible to Covid-19 after receiving their flu vaccine.

    5) Annual Vaccination against Influenza Virus Hampers Development of Virus-Specific CD8+ T Cell Immunity in Children

    Results from this study found that annual influenza vaccination, while effective against seasonal influenza strains found in the vaccine, prevents heterosubtypic immunity (immunity to other influenza subtypes and potentially pandemic influenza A/H5N1 viruses) through inhibiting the development of virus-specific CD8(+) T cell responses in children. The consequences of these findings have wide-ranging implications affecting the rate of viral shedding in the absence of cross-protective antibodies in the community.

    6) Yearly influenza vaccinations: a double-edged sword?

    This article summarises issues around influenza vaccine preventing heterosubtypic immunity and its implications for immunologically naive people during times of a pandemic.

    7) Breadth of concomitant immune responses prior to patient recovery: a case report of non-severe COVID-19

    These Melbourne-based researchers have analysed the immune response needed to fight Covid-19 and found a multi-factorial immune response (including CD8(+) T cells mentioned above) were required by a patient to recover from Covid-19. With the knowledge we now have of influenza vaccines inhibiting development of virus-specific T cell responses, administering a flu vaccine could potentially be preventing the recipient from mounting an effective response to the Covid-19 virus.

    8) Repeated annual influenza vaccination and vaccine effectiveness: review of evidence

    Published in 2017, this international review concluded “The public health impact of repeated immunization and the immunologic mechanisms leading to reduced protection or increased risk remain poorly understood . . Our current understanding of repeated vaccination effects is inadequate to inform vaccine policy recommendations".

    If the Australian Government goes ahead with mandating influenza vaccines for any part of the population, in the knowledge that these vaccines may increase susceptibility to other diseases, the Government may be held legally liable by those harmed by these policies. Given that the Australian Government is now mandating Influenza vaccine for healthcare, childcare, aged care professionals, residents, staff and visitors and now you are informed of the conflicting science listed above, does this not make you and/or the Government guilty, morally and financially liable in the event of death, disability and injury from mandating influenza (and other) vaccines?

    If the influenza vaccine leads to further Covid-19 deaths does this not make the Government guilty of causing death?

    I would like your Department to formally respond, acknowledging receipt of this information and to answer the questions raised by this research:

    1) What is the Government’s response to being presented with the above evidence that influenza vaccine causes non-specific / unintended adverse effects, such as increased susceptibility to other respiratory viruses, including coronavirus?

    2) If the Government continues to recommend influenza vaccine in the knowledge that it causes vaccine-derived virus interference and increased risk of acute respiratory illness (ARI), what evidence does it have to continue to recommend influenza vaccination in the time of a Covid-19 pandemic, when doing so may affect the recipient’s ability to recover from Covid-19?