Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Flu Vaccine and Dystonia

This story has been posted on a number of blogs (Skepchick, ERV, Pharyngula) but it deserves even wider coverage.1

Do you remember the woman who claims to have been given dystonia by the flu shot? She had these strange symptoms of uncontrolled movement that were only relieved when she ran or walked backwards. At the time this was advertised as one of the important reasons to be "skeptical" of vaccinations (using the word "skeptical" as a synonym for "gullible"). Some of the students in my class last Fall were impressed enough to quote this case as evidence that there's something wrong with vaccines.

Well, it turns out that TV crews have been secretly taping Desiree Jennings and discovered that she now walks normally and even drives a car! Isn't that amazing! She was cured by some quack who injected her with vitamins and put her in a pressure chamber.

Unfortunately there were some side effects. She now speaks with a strange accent that sounds vaguely Australian—but only if you're not from Australia. This woman needs to see a psychiatrist.

The first video is the report from last October and the second is the recent expose.

1. Orac [Desiree Jennings & Dr. Buttar on Inside Edition] and Steve Novella [Well That Didn’t Take Long – Another Dystonia Case Follow Up] say thorough the scam from the very beginning.


  1. Things like this need an entire show that gives detailed explanations, but we live in the age of the sound-byte. Still, it's at least evidence that there are some people out there who still believe in investigating things further.

  2. Clearly, the flu shot gave Ms. Jennings a case of montypythonia. First, she experienced silly walks; then, a British accent. I expect her to develop an obsession about parrots any day now.

  3. This is disgusting. I thought this was a hoax like everyone else out there because of the music videos on youtube and the constant saying of " she is lying". 1 day after thanksgiving my mother was admitted into the hospital, she cant walk forward but can walk backward with ease. she has pains in her arm, is loosing her hearing, problems with speech, and dizziness when standing, along with fatigue. She is my mother and this is all too real. take a second and think about if this was your mother or your child, would u be quick to be hurtful and a naysayer? Or would u want to get your story out there so others can have a REAL informed decission. She's my life, and now this is her reality.
    Jessica Nixon.

  4. I think there are serious issues with vaccines of all types. If pharmaceutical reps are paid to educate the doctors about their products, and the doctors are too busy to educate themselves further, then it is all too obvious what is happening. I don't blame the doctors, but do blame the pharmaceutical companies that are putting their profits in front of the healthy lives of citizens like you or me. These side effects--whether 1 in 77 or 1 in a million, could happen to anyone. I guess we just have to hope that that one person is someone else--isn't that how they're looking at it??