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Tags Desiree Jennings , dystonia , seasonal flu , vaccine

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Old 14th October 2009, 03:16 PM   #1
snard!
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Desiree Jennings, Dystonia and the Flu Shot

Anyone seen this yet?

Desiree Jennings, supposedly gets dystonia after flu shot.

I can't post with a link (due to not enough post history), but a google search of Desiree Jennings and Loudoun Times will get you the story.

Any thoughts?

The original article is from yesterday, and already there are multiple hits on google from conspiracy/antivax sites. Looks like they're gonna be all over this one, similar to the english teen (Natalie Morton) and Cervarix.
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Old 14th October 2009, 03:32 PM   #2
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Did she also get dystonia after eating oatmeal?
Did she also get dystonia after drinking city water?
Did she also get dystonia after sleeping in a bed?
Did she also get dystonia after walking more than 200 feet?

"After something" does not mean "because of something". If you want to sound all fancy, "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc" is the name of the logical fallacy(often shortened to "Post hoc"). To counter ask "Wow! How many other cases are there?" or any of the above questions, and start poking away at the flimsy answers. End with "Gee, sounds like a coincidence to me".
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Old 14th October 2009, 04:01 PM   #3
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Maybe someone with link-posting ability can post the original link (I can't).

The original story is pretty short on details. (Big surprise there, huh?)
There is also a link on the local NBC affiliate website, if I recall correctly.

GodMark2, thanks for the reply. (I had similar thoughts.)
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Old 14th October 2009, 06:06 PM   #4
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This is like the girl with the huge tumor that finally killed her, only of course it had to be after she got a vaccine one day.

Oh, already mentioned... but I had to say again.
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Old 14th October 2009, 06:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by snard! View Post
Maybe someone with link-posting ability can post the original link (I can't).
http://www.loudountimes.com/blogs/lo...-shot-desiree/
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Old 14th October 2009, 06:32 PM   #6
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Thanks Matthew, for posting the link.

Yeah, it's somewhat ironic that the person who has come down with the dystonia just so happens to be trying to become a professional cheerleader.
(Which adds to the sympathy factor, I would think.)

I will be interested to hear what the eventual outcome of this is. (Other than it being used by the anti-vax people; I have already seen the case cited as proof that flu shots "cause" dystonia.)
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Old 14th October 2009, 06:52 PM   #7
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Wow, this article is shockingly stupid.

The girl gets the seasonal flu shot vaccination on August 23 and 10 days later has "flu-like symptoms fever, vomiting, weakness in her legs, and body aches." On the 8th of September she apparently feels well enough to go to work and faints, things go downhill from there. Again, there's no mention of anything else that might have happened during those 10 days (or even a convincing link between the 'flu' and fainting.) This sort of thing drives me nuts.

If you read the comments for the article, they're both about thimerosal. This bugged me enough to get on there and add a comment. I wonder how many obscure newspapers I have accounts on now...
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Old 14th October 2009, 07:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Some people inherit dystonia. Others have it because of another disease.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/dystonia.html

Yeah okay. Somehow vaccines cause hair to go grey in old people that get seasonal flu vaccines now too.
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Old 14th October 2009, 07:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Eos of the Eons View Post
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/dystonia.html

Yeah okay. Somehow vaccines cause hair to go grey in old people that get seasonal flu vaccines now too.
Bugger. I just got a letter from my family doctor saying I should come in for my annual flu shot. Should I ask him about the grey hair side-effect?

He does have a good sense of humour. I'll report back what he says.
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Old 14th October 2009, 08:43 PM   #10
Eos of the Eons
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Bugger. I just got a letter from my family doctor saying I should come in for my annual flu shot. Should I ask him about the grey hair side-effect?

He does have a good sense of humour. I'll report back what he says.
You are not "old" yet. You should ask if it causes, um... balding instead... *ducks and runs*
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Old 15th October 2009, 08:35 AM   #11
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Since I ran into Toronto Truth Seekers on Sept. 30 as they were spewing their anti-vaccination B.S. I have been reading their mailing list and this is the title one of them gave to a post about this story:

Originally Posted by Junior from Toronto Truth Seekers
Woman Gets Flu Shot and is now RETARDED


You stay classy Truthers.
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Old 15th October 2009, 08:50 AM   #12
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"To minimize the stimuli which cause convulsions, she often has to wear soundproof headphones around the house and listen to music; Coldplay often does the trick."



Strangely enough, when I listen to Coldplay it causes vomiting...
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Old 16th October 2009, 02:37 AM   #13
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Headline: Woman Disabled by Flu Shot Reaction

http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/health/10...ction_dystonia

The shot was for the seasonal flu.

Quote:
Ten days after receiving the shot, she came down with the flu. After that, her health spiraled downwards. She started passing out and had to be hospitalized twice.

...

Doctors at Fairfax Inova and Johns Hopkins diagnosed her with a rare neurological disorder called dystonia. They think it was caused by a severe reaction to the flu shot.

This is not good for the vaccine safety image and will no doubt get a big push from the alt med and other woo crowds

I'm waiting to hear more info on this.
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Old 16th October 2009, 04:35 AM   #14
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This may be the same:
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=156515
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Old 16th October 2009, 04:47 AM   #15
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Thanks for merging!
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Old 22nd October 2009, 08:14 PM   #16
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Correlation strikes again.

The statistics the article throws around are interesting too. She's "one in a million". One in a million that develop serious side effects? One in a million that develop dystonia? With 100 million seasonal flu jabs annually, it would seem unlikely that the one in a million correlation could be referring to the development of dystonia.

Then there's the "36,000 die annually of the seasonal flu". With a global population of ~6.7 billion, that puts the chances of death from flu at greater than 1 in 200,000. Granted though... that isn't necessarily 1 in 200,000 cheerleaders.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 08:58 PM   #17
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Well, here's something to add more confusion over the issue:

From: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP0QY...=youtube_gdata
Dr. Leigh Vinocur and other experts feel that this is possibly psychogenic. It doesn't mean the woman is faking it. It means her symptoms are from her mind, and nothing is physically wrong with her...

(Warning: this is from FoxNews, which I know isn't exactly the most well-regarded source.)

Couple of other things to consider:
- From what I've read, Dystonia can be triggered by infections, so to me its not outside the possibility that the reaction is due to the vaccine causing the same type of reaction
- Even if it is a reaction to the vaccine, its likely that actually contracting the flu naturally would cause the same reactions (and thus the same 'disease')
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Old 22nd October 2009, 10:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Couple of other things to consider:
- From what I've read, Dystonia can be triggered by infections, so to me its not outside the possibility that the reaction is due to the vaccine causing the same type of reaction
- Even if it is a reaction to the vaccine, its likely that actually contracting the flu naturally would cause the same reactions (and thus the same 'disease')
Add to that the very real possibility that she caught the flu anyway. One year, I got the flu shot and had one of the worst bouts with the flu about a month later. Only thing it had to do with the vaccine was the CDC guessing wrong on the strain that would hit.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 03:00 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Snixtor View Post
Then there's the "36,000 die annually of the seasonal flu". With a global population of ~6.7 billion, that puts the chances of death from flu at greater than 1 in 200,000. Granted though... that isn't necessarily 1 in 200,000 cheerleaders.

The 36 000 deaths is in the US alone. According to WHO, the worldwide deaths from influenza are closer to:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/

Quote:
Seasonal epidemics

Influenza epidemics occur yearly during autumn and winter in temperate regions. Illnesses result in hospitalizations and deaths mainly among high-risk groups (the very young, elderly or chronically ill). Worldwide, these annual epidemics result in about three to five million cases of severe illness, and about 250 000 to 500 000 deaths. Most deaths associated with influenza in industrialized countries occur among people age 65 or older. In some tropical countries, influenza viruses circulate throughout the year with one or two peaks during rainy seasons.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 11:59 AM   #20
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Yah, this was making the rounds among friends and family on Facebook. I've been battling it for the last day and a half.

As you say, people bring up the same things over and over:
- "The CDC in Canada has not done domestic trials of the new vaccine(yet, their in progress). That's bad." Never mind that we let plenty of vaccines and drugs into canada based on clincial trials from other countries.
- "Vaccine contains Thimerosal. Thimerosal = mercury = bad." Most people aren't even aware of WHY they put Thimerosal in the vaccine. I had a great link that discussed it.
- "That this is a direct side effect of vaccination." Well that implies that vaccines CAUSE Dystonia, which is not correct, human pysiology is a little too complicated to be summed up in such a black or white fashion. As mentioned infection can bring it on, so actually getting the flu could also have triggered her condition. Dystonia can also be hereditary, so she was likely already pre-disposed to it. In which case, any number of things could have potentially triggered it.

Overall, like you say, there's no evidence that the two events are linked. But people feel bad. Emotion and fear rule the day. I'm saddened by it as well, its unfortunate. But that shouldn't force rationality right out the window.

Heh, I've had several people convey their disappointment in me that I'm so susceptible to government propoganda and hype. Some comments are just too easy to shoot down as illogical. I may have a few less friends after this
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Old 23rd October 2009, 03:31 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Kuko 4000 View Post
The 36 000 deaths is in the US alone. According to WHO, the worldwide deaths from influenza are closer to:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/
Well then, another indication of the poor use of numbers in the article, implicitly downplaying the prevalence by omitting a key factor of the statistic.

ETA: If we put the US. population at 308 million (current estimates put it at such), that puts the annual "risk" of death from seasonal flu in the US at greater than 1 in 9,000.

Last edited by Snixtor; 23rd October 2009 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 11:57 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
What an ignorant society we have. Ten days after a flu shot? As if no one could possibly have gotten an unrelated infection near the time of the shot.

It may or may not be related to the vaccine. And if it is, that is tragic but no more tragic than backing over your toddler in the driveway. Should all parents quit driving while their kids are toddlers?

The first response to the article is classic. The doctor who claimed his child had a mitochondrial disorder therefore a vaccine harmed the child was an unethical neurologist who was suing to get money from the vaccine injury compensation board. No one has provided any studies that confirmed his bizarre hypothesis.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 11:59 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Snixtor View Post
Well then, another indication of the poor use of numbers in the article, implicitly downplaying the prevalence by omitting a key factor of the statistic.

ETA: If we put the US. population at 308 million (current estimates put it at such), that puts the annual "risk" of death from seasonal flu in the US at greater than 1 in 9,000.
Compared to the risk of a vaccine related death which is darn close to zero, I'd say the vaccine is more than worth the risk/cost.
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Old 24th October 2009, 12:01 AM   #24
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I've had my H1N1 vaccine now as I provide patient care. I feel very fortunate to have had access to the vaccine.

I've given over 300 doses now of FluMist. I've not had one person complain of side effects.
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Old 24th October 2009, 07:26 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by skeptigirl View Post
Compared to the risk of a vaccine related death which is darn close to zero, I'd say the vaccine is more than worth the risk/cost.
Absolutely. Even if the chances of developing dystonia from the vaccine are genuinely 1 in a million (which it almost certainly isn't), then it still looks a darn site more preferable to a 1 in 9,000 chance of death.

Here in Australia, the H1N1 vaccine is free to all residents. Given the nature of herd immunity, for that I am very thankful.
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Old 26th October 2009, 09:34 AM   #26
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I've been discussing this with a Facebook page started by a bunch of Australian anti-vaxers. As far as I can see from my Internet research, this would be the first case of dystonia in which a person was able to run and walk backward normally...and speak normally while doing so.
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Old 26th October 2009, 06:10 PM   #27
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My husband has read up on this (it started at skepchick.org, with an article by dElYSEious, and continued from there) and we have discussed it.
They say that one in one million people get Dystonia. That means that you are more likely to die in a car wreck on your way to get your H1N1 vaccination. You are far more likely to die from the H1N1 Flu than you are to get Dystonia, if you are not vaccinated. I vote to get vaccinated.
One in a million in Americans alone means that approximately 300 people a year come down with Dystonia for no known reason. I also heard that a "hand full" of other people developed Dystonia "in the same time line" (I'm thinking the 10 days between Vax and diagnosis). A reported "hand full" compared to one...Hmmmmm Causality much or FOX news much?
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Old 31st October 2009, 09:27 AM   #28
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A very interesting post about this by Steven Novella:

The Dystonia Flu-Shot Case

http://www.theness.com/neurologicabl...1152#more-1152
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Old 31st October 2009, 09:40 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Kuko 4000 View Post
A very interesting post about this by Steven Novella:

The Dystonia Flu-Shot Case

http://www.theness.com/neurologicabl...1152#more-1152
Thank you Kuko. I looked at the video before I read the article, and Psychogenic Dystonia was my first thought as well.

Linda
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Old 31st October 2009, 01:29 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Bugger. I just got a letter from my family doctor saying I should come in for my annual flu shot. Should I ask him about the grey hair side-effect?

He does have a good sense of humour. I'll report back what he says.
I've now had my shot and I did say to my doctor, "I've heard of this side effect about the annual flu shot on the Internet." A faint look of horror crossed his face so I rapidly continued, "all we old folks have this shot every year and every year we loose more hair." He smiled and said, patting his head, "I wish someone had told me before I had mine." My doctor almost bald!
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Old 1st November 2009, 01:56 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Kuko 4000 View Post
A very interesting post about this by Steven Novella:

The Dystonia Flu-Shot Case

http://www.theness.com/neurologicabl...1152#more-1152
Very good. But who listens to people with expertise anymore?
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Old 7th November 2009, 01:23 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by skeptigirl View Post
I've had my H1N1 vaccine now as I provide patient care. I feel very fortunate to have had access to the vaccine.

I've given over 300 doses now of FluMist. I've not had one person complain of side effects.
I'm jealous. I'm very much looking forward to the jab as soon as it is available to me. This is of course presuming that I have the opportunity to get the jab before I get H1N1.
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Old 7th November 2009, 02:54 AM   #33
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I qualify for the shot and have an appointment on 20th November. Let you know how it goes.
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Old 7th November 2009, 09:32 AM   #34
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Might as well bump this one too! She's cured! It's a fraccin miracle! Now she and McCarthy and PARTY!!! Send that woo woo meister the rest of the dystonia patients already, woot! He can CURE dystonia!!! Oh whoops, HE calls it vaccine damage, wonder why he's scrapping the dystonia claim? I don't get it *sucks thumb*
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Old 8th November 2009, 08:27 PM   #35
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Well... ok, and end to an individuals suffering is always a good thing... But I shudder to think of the precedent this sets. Bad enough the anti-vax promotion that this spawned, but now the whole affair is in prime position to promote a quack-doctor therapy too? It's a little bit frightening...
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Old 8th November 2009, 08:32 PM   #36
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I would think with the quackery involved and overly speedy recovery, some people would put one and one together and not get 0.5, but you know...
I'm too scared to check out the usual forums of ignorance on this to see if any one person on them questions the whole ridiculous scenario. But, too many of them believe in chelation for "vaccine damage" already, and actually EXPECT overnight recovery scenarios (reporting the same in their own children).
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my karma ran over my dogma-vbloke
The Lateral Truth: An Apostate's Bible Stories by Rebecca Bradley, read it!
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Old 8th November 2009, 09:06 PM   #37
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Believing that conventional therapies have hurt them seems to go hand in hand with believing that un-conventional / quack therapies have cured them.

What a curiosity that Jennings is claiming she wouldn't have had her flu vaccine had she been aware of "possible side effects", yet I wonder how much investigation she's put into "possible side effects" from lord knows what pseudo-medicine she's taken.
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Old 8th November 2009, 09:25 PM   #38
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Now she's "getting better" thanks to "amazing" treatments

But she's still "neurologically impaired"!
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Old 9th November 2009, 12:31 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
I'm jealous. I'm very much looking forward to the jab as soon as it is available to me. This is of course presuming that I have the opportunity to get the jab before I get H1N1.
How old are you? Are you willing to drive to Seattle? Send me a PM. I have to stick to the distribution rules but they include a lot of people.

I've now given over 450 doses of H1N1 FluMist. A couple people reported runny noses and feeling run down for a day or so after the dose. That's the extent of complaints so far. My son had no post vaccine symptoms at all.

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Old 9th November 2009, 02:23 AM   #40
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I've been monitoring this over on respectful insolence.

Several points I would make:

1. She undeniably did become unwell after the vaccination. Medical record from both the VAERS report submitted by the doctor and the actual copy of the record from Fairfax Inova healthcare attest to this (seen at 1min 37 sec into this video).
She had a flu-like illness associated with abnormal rise in creatine kinase from muscle cell breakdown and a rise in liver transaminase enzymes indicating liver inflammation. She was seen by cardiac, neuro and infection specialists, had scans and a lumbar puncture.

2. Despite that, the conclusion (from the doctor seeing her) regarding her abnormal movements and other symptoms was that this was probably a somatic disorder/psychogenic (and this is the opinion of other neurologists who have seen all her videos).

3. The full medical record has not emerged, and never will, as it will likely point to a psychogenic disorder, which Desiree would not wish anyone to know about. Far better to keep everyone believing she had a devastating vaccine side effect and milk it for all it's worth in terms of sympathy, publicity and even financial support from donations and Generation Rescue.

4. Despite us being told she had a permanent disability from the vaccine (dystonia usually is) she has made an intantaneous recovery after getting quack medicine. This confirms the underlying psychosomatic nature of her illness, indeed it is virtually diagnostic.

5. People can rest assured. There is absolutely no need to be worried by the potential risk of getting this side effect from vaccines - in the extremely unlikely event that they do, just a few minutes of quackery can restore them to full glowing health!
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