Dr. Jay Gordon - Flu Whisperer?

By way of introducing us to why he will not be giving H1N1 vaccines this year to his patients, Dr. Jay Gordon tells us:
I have seen more children and adults with influenza-like illness: 104 degree fevers, muscle soreness, sore throat and negative tests for strep, than in any summer I can remember. I haven’t used the “flu swab” to test anybody, but I’m sure that many if not most of these sick people had Swine Flu. They all felt miserable, and they are all feeling just fine now.
Hellz yeah! I had symptoms like those at one time. I'm telling all my friends that I had swine flu before swine flu was cool!

Dr. Gordon's powers aren't limited to mystical determinations of influenza strains. He also has powers of prognostication - or is a gambler:
I also won’t be giving the flu shot to the kids and parents in my practice unless there are extraordinary risk factors. I anticipate giving none at all this year. I doubt that there will be any really large problems with the vaccine, but I also doubt any really large benefits. As I said, I think that this year’s version of this particular H1N1 is as “mild” as it will ever be and that getting sick with it this year will be good rather than bad. The chances that a new “flu shot” will be overwhelmingly effective are small.
Not sure why "flu shot" is in scare-quotes but "whatever". Dr. Gordon goes on, rambling this way and that in an article that says vaccines can be good, so why give vaccines? He's seems more afraid of giving advice than of the H1N1 virus, but if I can tease one point out of his meandering post, it is that he does not think enough testing is being performed on the H1N1 vaccine. I don't know whether that's true or not, but I assume a new flu vaccine has to follow a rigid protocol of testing before released to the public. After all, new flu vaccines are produced every year, so it's not like we don't have experience in this arena. Yet somehow Dr. Gordon rationalizes that the risk of the new H1N1 flu vaccine is greater than the risk of getting the H1N1 flu virus itself, basing his reasoning solely on his belief that this year's swine flu will be mild. Doctors everywhere are probably coming to the same conclusion, and even the World Health Organization notes:
The vast majority of cases of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) have been mild so far with few deaths. It remains to be seen whether the virus will mutate into a more virulent strain.
And, WHO also addresses Dr. Gordon's concerns about testing:
Q: These must be the fastest vaccines ever produced. Given their fast-tracking, what is the guarantee of safety and efficacy?
...Based on the extensive knowledge available on seasonal vaccines and the results obtained through evaluation of H5N1 avian influenza vaccines, there is no doubt that it will be possible to make effective H1N1 pandemic vaccines.
So, his argument falters. At least he shows a lack of knowledge regarding registering flu vaccines for use in the U.S., because the process with H1N1 is no different than for all the other seasonal strains of flu.


Julie said...

Great post. I just found this looking for Dr. Gordon's letter, which I was about to eviscerate on my blog. Come take a look at it.


I guess this letter went out to Dr. Gordon's mailing list, right? I couldn't find a copy on his website.

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