by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, DO, AOBNMM, AIHM
On April 28, 2015, Ohio Representative Christian Hagan from District 50 (Stark County/Akron area), introduced HB 170. If enacted, this new legislation would prohibit an employer from taking an adverse employment action against a person who has not been, or will not be, vaccinated against influenza. You can read the short, one-page bill here.
I was in Columbus on May 19 to testify in favor of this bill. Three people who testified before me were asked technical medical questions by the legislators. Tony DiBiase, who has been working tirelessly for nearly three years with Rep. Hagan to get this bill introduced, spoke up and requested that Chairman Young invite me to speak next.
After reading my 8 minute testimony (see below), I answered all the previously asked questions. The legislators were so interested in my answers, they proceeded to ask more questions for nearly 40 minutes, not only about influenza, but also about Hepatitis B, thimerosal, and even autism! Nine more testimonies came next, all of which were very compelling – people who had been seriously injured by a flu shot, employees that had been threatened and had to hire an attorney for their own defense, people who had been fired for refusing the shot. The hearing ran over by nearly an hour and most of the committee members stayed until all testimonies were complete.
We made great progress. Please stay in close contact through Facebook and/or join my email contact list . If you’ve never taken the time to contact with your state legislators, DO IT NOW. Unlike our unresponsive Washington D.C. “representatives,” State legislators are much more interested in connecting with their constituents. Even if you only call – which takes 2-3 minutes – you DO make a difference. If you can, make an appointment to meet with them on this issue.
- Here’s a link to find the legislator for your district.
- Here’s a link to find out what Ohio District you live in.
- Here’s a link to contact the members of the Commerce and Labor Committee who held the hearing. Each member really needs to hear from you before next Wednesday, when the opponents of HB107 will have their hearing day.
IN SUPPORT OF HB 170
May 19, 2015
I want to thank Chairman Young and the committee for allowing me to testify on House Bill 170.
My name is Dr Sherri Tenpenny. I am a native Ohioan. I currently reside in Cuyahoga County, where I live and work as an osteopathic medical doctor in my practice with 14 employees. I am board certified in three medical specialties. I was full time Emergency Medicine physician and the Director of the Emergency at Blanchard Valley Regional Health Center in Findlay, Ohio from 1986 to 1998. Since 2000, I have invested more than 20,000 hours of personal time investigating the adverse impact vaccines can have on health. I have written two books on this topic, contributed to several others and I have produced 8 educational DVDs. My online and print articles have been translated into at least 10 languages and my radio presence has an international reach.
I am here today to support HB170, and to support a HCWs right to refuse the flu shot. It is my personal and professional opinion that the flu shot should be completely voluntary. Vaccinating should never be required in exchange for job. I will list five reasons you must support HB170, with supporting evidence.
Reason #1: Giving ME (or a HCW) a flu shot does not prevent YOU (or patients) from getting the flu.
- More than 200 viruses can cause influenza-like illness. The symptoms are identical to symptoms caused by influenza viruses and can only be distinguished by laboratory confirmation.
- What is little known is that influenza viruses are not the primary cause of influenza-illness.
- Using the CDC’s own data, I personally tabulated CDC annual reports over an 11-year period, from 1998-2008. Influenza viruses caused flu-like illness only 13.9% of the time.
- This means, at best, an effective flu shot would have prevented 14% of the cases of flu.
- The Cochrane Collaboration is a global network of independent researchers and professionals. Their reports are valuable because they are free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest.
- The 2010 Cochrane Review on Influenza concluded, “There is no evidence that flu shots affect complications, such as pneumonia, and no evidence flu shots effect transmission.” This means a flu shot does not stop the spread of the flu.
- The 2013 Cochrane Review on Influenza concluded: “There is no evidence that (only) vaccinating healthcare workers prevents laboratory-confirmed influenza or its complications in individuals aged 60 or over in nursing homes. There is no evidence to mandate compulsory vaccination of healthcare workers.
Reason #2: Flu shots do not prevent lost days from work.
- The 2004 Cochrane Review examined 25 reports with nearly 60,000 adults and concluded: “Vaccination of healthy adults only reduced risk of influenza by 6% and only reduced the number of missed work days by less than one day, actually 0.13 days. The report concluded: “Universal immunization of healthy adults was not supported by this review.”
- Ten years later, the 2014 Cochrane Review on Influenza concluded: “Influenza vaccines have a very modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost in the general population, including pregnant women.”
Reason #3: Flu shots contain problematic ingredients, with potentially serious side effects. I will mention only four.
- Triton X-100 is a detergent that can damage cell membranes, disrupt mitochondria and cause a rapid decline in cell function, all of which are conditions that can lead to cancer.
- Polysorbate 80 is a chemical that can cause infertility and anaphylactic shock.
- Formaldehyde is a chemical that the National Toxicology Program officially listed as a known human carcinogen in 2011.
- Thimerosal: yes the multi-dose flu shots still contain 25mcg of mercury per dose.
- It is important to note that INJECTING a substance into a muscle for absorption into the body is very different from INGESTING or INHALING that same substance.
Reason #4: Flu shots are not safe, reactions are not rare and treating complications are costly.
- All FDA-licensed vaccines pose inherent risks of harm. In 2011, the US Supreme Court acknowledged that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe”
- As of November 2013, the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting system, commonly referred to as VAERS, has received more than 93,000 reports of reactions, injuries, hospitalizations, including 1,080 deaths, following influenza vaccinations. The VAERS search engine found 10,932 cases with serious side effects for Fluzone, the most commonly used flu vaccine.
- Between Jan 2006 and Dec 30, 2013, The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out $944 Million in adjudicated claims for flu shot injuries. Forcing vaccinations as a requirement for employment will increase this number.
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a potentially life threatening cause of paralysis, is a potential side effect of the flu shot. Between 1980 and 2005, 632 cases of GBS followed a flu shot.
- Medicare estimates the cost to treat ONE case of GBS to be $85,909 if the patient does not require a ventilator. If a patient requires time in the ICU and has been on a ventilator, that cost escalates to a whooping $517,402.
- The costs of treating other potential side effects from the flu shot – extensive medical workups, long-term medications for seizures and other neurological disorders – are not included when the “cost savings” of a broad based vaccination program is promoted to you for funding. We really don’t know what the TRUE COST of the influenza program really is in the state of Ohio.
Reason #5: Forcing an employee to be injected with a vaccination in exchange for employment has little support in science.
- Public health and Healthy People 2020 guidelines have widely promoted the notion that patients are put at risk unless HCWs are vaccinated.
- Studies to support this premise are sorely lacking, as documented in the paper I presented. Please turn to page 5 and note the KEY POINTS.
In Summary, the reasons to support HB170 are:
#1 – Giving HCW a flu shot does not prevent a patient from getting the flu.
#2 – Flu shots do not prevent lost time from work.
#3 – Flu shots contain problematic ingredients that can cause serious harm.
#4 – Flu shots are not safe, reactions are not rare and side effects are costly.
#5 – Most importantly, the evidence for vaccinating healthcare workers, if any, is heavily flawed and inconclusive at best.
I have no doubt shared a lot of information you did not know about the flu shot. Knowing what you know now, how likely are you to run out and get a flu shot?
- Do you want those ingredients injected into your body…in exchange for your job?
- Are you willing to risk long-term disability… in exchange for your job?
- Would you want your spouse, your sibling or your child to lose their job for refusing this vaccination?
Flu shots are not necessary to avoid the flu, even though they are promoted to be as good for you – and as benign – as a B12 shot. Punishing an informed person who refuses the flu shot by firing them or otherwise discriminating against them, is a misuse of governmental power and overreach of public health. Where will be stop with medicating in exchange for employment?
Please support HB170 and protect Ohio workers from possible harm from this vaccination if they choose to refuse. Their freedom of choice needs to be legislatively protected. Thank you.
Dr Sherri Tenpenny, DO, AOBNMM, ABIHM, (AOBEM 1995 through 2006)
 2009: Guillain-Barré syndrome after vaccination in United States: data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/FDA Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (1990-2005). J Clin Neuromuscul Dis. 2009 Sep;11(1):1-6.