Posted to Op-Ed on

Letter: No One is Immune to the Flu

A mother, who is also a medical doctor, shared her thoughts on the flu – and the importance of getting vaccinated – after reading a heart wrenching story on facebook group made up of 72 thousand physicians who are also mom’s.

by Liba Shaffer, MD

Dear Editor,

This year’s flu has been awful.  People don’t realize that while you can still get the flu after being vaccinated it is usually much less severe than if they hadn’t been vaccinated. The Flu season is ramping up, and I am hearing about more deaths of people in high risk groups, but even among people in low risk groups (healthy, not at either extreme of age).

A lot of information about the flu can be found at

The following is something a physician posted in a facebook group of over 72,000 physicians to read. (The group is called Physician Moms Group – PMG)

My beautiful, healthy, vibrant 4 year old passed away on December 25th from flu. He was sick for less than 24 hours before dying. He had never had a serious illness in his life. It is the most helpless feeling in the world, being a physician and seeing that nothing else can be done for your baby.

For my fellow PMGs, I ask that you consider donating to his memorial fund, which will be focused on providing families with sick children assistance around holiday season time. You are welcome to share my post on your personal pages as well.

There is emphasis in medical training on flu killing the very young, very old, and immune-compromised. However, it also kills the healthy and strong, and it can kill them fast. Please continue the fight to convince your patients to get the flu shot. According to the CDC, 80-90% of children who die from flu-related complications did not have their flu shot. And those children are often kids like mine.

Hug your babies tight. Please use my sons story to encourage your patients, family, and friends to get the flu shot. I am thankful for this wonderful community of doctor moms.

Please, if you/your child can be vaccinated, DO IT!!

Thank you,
Liba Shaffer, MD


  • 1. David Kahn, MD wrote:

    It is important to get as many people vaccinated as possible. This includes the flu vaccine, MMR, hepatitis and Gardisil. Unfortunately, an unacceptably high percentage of Frum people are against vaccination. And, by some twisted logic, I am not qualified to advocate vaccination as I am considered part of the “medical establishment.”

    • 2. Brian Trappler wrote:

      David, you surprise me with your self-assured dogma with which you’re regurgitating the garbage they taught you at school. In my classes, you slept, but when it came to Pediatrics, you repeat every word of the garbage they saturated you with. But since you do have a good medical brain, lets narrow the focus: Try to be open to reflect on two or three simple questions. How you respond to them will determine whether we can find common-cause. If so, you may turn out to be a G-d-send. Because as an Oncologist and Immunologist, people will respect your position. Question 1: At what point during treatment of a patient with Non-Hodgins Lymphoma Treatment, would you recommend a patient to receive a routine vaccination of live-bacterial D.P.T. ?
      Question 2: Why were attenuated Polio viruses (wrendered non-viable by pre-treatment with Radiation) replaced with live-virus for Polio vaccination ? As a result, the Government of India brought a Lawsuite against Bill Gates (the sponsor), for the paralysis of 37,000 Polio-Vaccinated children who developed permanent neurologcal injury in the weeks following exposure to the live virus vaccine.
      Question 3: Why do infants receive I.M. Vaccination with Hepatitis B and C Virus within hours of birth, supossedly to protect them against infections normally spread by the exchange of body-fluids, something reccommended only to high-risk citizens. These infections are contracted by exchange of contaminated syringes, body-fluids (like HIV), etc. And if one wants to make the case of being extremely cautious in doing so, why so soon, after the baby is only hours to days old. At such a tended age this is prior to the newborn having an immune-system sufficiciently developed to mount an immune-reaction of its own. I’m beginning with these random questions of many in order to illustrate to both laymen and new graduates of our medical educational system to illustrate the pitfalls of painting this subject with one sweep of the brush.

    • 3. MY child MY research MY decision wrote:

      Tokyo Times
      And Dr Kahn is suggesting this highly toxic vaccine given to our adolescent frum girls who havee zero chance of contracting the hpv virus as he suppports the recommendations od the CDC schedule SIDE EFFECTS IN YOUNG GIRLS TAKE GARDASIL OUT FROM JAPANESE MARKET

      Around 2,000 reported side effects after using Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine have determined Japanese government officials to withdraw Gardasil from the market in 2013, despite the vaccine being highly promoted in the United States and now approved by the European Union.

      “Japanese health officials have recorded nearly 2,000 adverse reactions – hundreds of them serious,” reported Judicial Watch, the Washington-based corruption watchdog that has been monitoring the effects – and health costs – of the drug’s use in the United States for years.

      “The alarming reports have led Japan’s government to take action, suspending recommendation for the controversial vaccine which is billed as a miracle shot that can prevent certain strains of cervical cancer caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV).”

      “The U.S. government has taken the opposite approach amid equally alarming cases of serious side effects. Not only does the Obama administration continue recommending the vaccine (Gardasil), it spends large sums of taxpayer dollars promoting it and works hard to keep details involving its dangers secret.”

      The side effects of using Gardasil include seizures, brain damage, blindness, paralysis, speech problems, pancreatitis and short-term memory loss, while other patients have died after taking the vaccine. Gardasil is given to little girls and costs around $600 per patient.

      The organization confirmed that in Japan, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare warned local governments that the HPV vaccine should not be recommended amid safety concerns.

      Japan’s officials had paid more than $187 million for “urgent HPV vaccination programs” for girls between 11 and 14 and visited junior high schools to promote the vaccine.

      “Since the government began offering girls HPV shots, 1,968 adverse events were reported, including 358 that were evaluated as serious by a JMLHW committee. Parents began calling the country’s health minister and furnishing videos in which girls who had received the HPV vaccine suffered from walking disturbances, body tics and seizures. In other cases many girls injected with the vaccine fell to the floor, injuring their head or face and some fracturing their jaw or teeth,” Judicial Watch reported.

      The damage payments of nearly $6 million covered only some of the 200 claims that have been filed to date.

      0 Senkakus, Takeshima according to new textbooks Thyroid conditions in Fukushima similar to other areas
      :) you mentioned Gardisil.

  • 4. ahavasyisroel wrote:

    If doctors are for vaccination then we should be for it. Hashem gave them the power to heal, not celebrities and internet bloggers

    • 5. Truth seeker wrote:

      The first doctors who developed vaccinations were Nazi doctors working under Mengele. Look it up. The Nazi genocide has continued with forced medical interventions, such as vaccinations, intended to alter the genes of the human race. Sadly, most Jewish people are as unaware now as they were in 1939. The few that knew what was happening at the time were considered conspiracy theorists too. Today’s Vaccine mandates completely go against the Nuremberg Laws banning any forced medical actions. Fortunately, we are now witnessing a revolution of many informed scientists and parents who are waking up to the truth and fighting the biggest crime against humanity.

    • 6. Milhouse wrote:

      “Lie seeker”, you belong in an insane asylum. Not a single word of your rant was true, not even “and” or “the”.

  • 7. Channa wrote:

    When you go to the dr, please ask for the vaccine insert (not the paper they routinely give out, but the actual insert), and read the list of side effects and ingredients, as well as all the warnings. Also, if you do choose to vaccinate (after doing all the research), and give your child live virus vaccines please keep your recently vaccinated child away from others as they will be shedding the virus- which is especially dangerous if they will be around newborns or any immunocompromised person (immunocompromised ppl are warned to stay away from recently vaccinated ppl by their medical doctors, but unfortunately parents are not warned to keep their recently vaccinated children at home). I highly recommend the film ‘the truth about vaccines’ in which many medical doctors talk about the pros and cons of vaccination. Everyone should be informed before they consent.

    • 8. Dina wrote:

      There are more people that die in car accidents than from vacinnes. Yet we still get into cars- why? The good out weighs the bad….

    • 9. Chaim wrote:

      Generally, those who form their opinions based on what they see on YouTube aren’t taken too seriously.
      Actual clinical evidence shows no harm in vaccination, and much benefit.
      Any quack can make a YouTube video talking nonsense, with interviews with Doctors and Naturopaths and Chiropractors, and all other kinds of weirdos.

      Remember: Just because you saw it on YouTube, or Facebook, or some blog somewhere, doesn’t mean it’s true. Look at the actual scientific data and evidence. (As well as the long debunked “vaccines cause autism” “study” that fudged the data and skewed results.

    • 10. Wolf wrote:

      There is no stupid “vaccine insert” at my children’s pediatrician because he wisely doesn’t accept children whose parents who flout his medical advice and refuse to vaccinate their children.

  • 12. Apples wrote:

    There are no details of how this caused the child to die. Maybe that would impact our decision. The numbers dont say much either: its possible that 80-90 percent of healthy kids are not vaccinated and so it translates into 80-90percent who die chas vsholom will not have been vaccinated. Basically, what percentage of kids r vaccinated in the first place?
    My condolences to the author on her devestating loss :(

  • 13. DaasTorah wrote:

    Vaccines are safe and effective. The moment you someone begins talking about “truth” or “inserts” is the moment you know they are a conspiracy theory quack and you should just not listen to them.

    Vaccines=Safe. GET THEM!

    • 14. ? wrote:

      “Inserts” means the package instructions for the vaccine. Unless you also ignore the instructions and warnings on Advil and Tylenol because “they are 100% safe”? (PSA: Please do read them, Tylenol can be deadly if administered for too long or inappropriately!)

      “Truth” can be a loaded word, or it can simply be the distrust born of having concerns denied or whitewashed.

  • 15. To #8 wrote:

    The child had an appointment to be vaccinated this week. However, he contracted the flu which progressed and directly caused his death before he could get the vaccine.

  • 16. Concerned wrote:

    The moment someone tells you that there is ANY medication that is 100% safe for everyone, with no side effects… Run far, far away.

    Are vaccines a good idea? Very often yes. But to shut down debate with name calling smells like a coverup, even if that’s not what’s going on.

    I appreciate this mother’s concern not to have anyone suffer as she has.

  • 17. Channa wrote:

    Chaim, I have no interest in discussing this further as I know I have done my research to keep my children safe. I get my info on the risks of vaccines from the cdc website, fda website, the actual vaccine inserts, as well as MDs who thoroughly researched as well. Unfortunately MDs do not learn much about vaccinations in medical school except that they are “safe and effective” and “ this is the schedule you must give them on”. I wonder why your dr is so afraid of you reading what the ingredients and risks are, that is certainly something to think about…

    • 18. In The Know says: follow the money wrote:

      vaccines make lots of money for the drug companies and the doctors.

      when there is money involved, the truth is sold away.

      imagine if no one made money off the vaccines – no one would be pushing this drug on our children.

      drugs are big business, even at the cost of children’s health.

      the same is with ufo’s and extraterrestrial beings living among us and filling leadership positions while tweeting back info to the mother ship.

    • 19. DaasTorah wrote:

      “I have done my research”
      Is your medical degree from Google University? My doctor’s is from an actual medical school!

    • 20. To "In the Know" wrote:

      Did you take the wrong vaccine?! You aren’t making sense! What are you babbling about UFO’s, mother ships and aliens?!

  • 21. ahavasyisroel wrote:

    Unless you went to medical school then you don’t even know what ‘doing your research’ actually means…

    Or to put it in another way, if you broke your leg or had a heart attack c’v, would you trust your research or would you go to a real doctor to fix it?

  • 22. mig wrote:

    I beg mothers who are pro-vaccine. Do not vaccinate your children with Gardasil. Many girls have (1,000 girls in Australia) been injured or died from it. For your children’s sake do your research. Just don’t check the CDC or NIH websites. The CDC and the NIH have a conflict of interest because they are heavily connected to the pharmaceutical companies.

    • 23. Milhouse wrote:

      “Many girls have (1,000 girls in Australia) been injured or died from it. ”

      And you know this how? Which vicious liar have you been listening to? Not one person has ever been found to have died from it. Sure some people have died after being vaccinated, you would expect that. Everybody who dies has done many htings in the previous week or month, and in some cases that will include having received some vaccine or other. That is no reason to suppose that the vaccine caused the death. The same girls who died after their shot also died after eating potatoes, so why don’t you blame that?

    • 24. Milhouse wrote:

      PS: There are valid reasons to be wary of gardasil, but they are not medical reasons. Whether your daughter should be vaccinated is something you should discuss with your rov and mashpia, as well as with your doctor, and ultimately you have to decide what is right in your situation.

    • 26. In the Know wrote:

      the same is with ufo’s and extraterrestrial beings living among us and filling leadership positions while tweeting back info to the mother ship.

  • 27. Fear wrote:

    I do not believe this article is helpful
    I feel very bad for the mom who lost her child but creating “panic and anxiety” doesn’t help
    I am sure I’m not the only one who won’t sleep tonight from the anxiety induced from this article.
    There are other ways to ask people to vaccinate without creating panic.

    • 28. DaasTorah wrote:

      Asking people nicely and providing them with scientific evidence showing vaccines to be safe and effective doesn’t seem to be working. Because of that doctors have had to scare people into it.

    • 29. Concerned wrote:

      If you ask someone nicely, and they bring up a concern, so you start yelling at them… Well you weren’t really asking nicely.

      FYI, vaccine reactions are real. But common sense precautions like not vaccinating kids that are sick or have the sniffles, spreading out vaccines by 2 months apart, and recognizing when a kid is not handling the vaccine well and stopping, would make the reactions truly rare.

      Denying that they exist and therefore taking no precautions is what has led to many choosing not to vaccinate at all.

  • 30. Brian Trappler wrote:

    David was a student of mine at SUNY Downstate. And an excellent student at the same time. I follow his declarative statement with a short list of questions, for the sake of abbreviation. The reader is advised to follow the thread since this is beginning as a dialectic of two opposing positions on the topic of vaccinations.

  • 31. Milhouse wrote:

    There are not “two opposing positions” on vaccinations. There is the truth, that vaccination is vital and as safe as any normal activity, and then there are dangerous lunatics, some of whom were once medical doctors but have now fallen into an anti-rational cult, and should not be consulted for any medical purpose at all.

    The moment a so-called “doctor” starts telling you that vaccinations are dangerous, pick up your belongings and leave, and warn everyone not to go to him ever again. Report him to the AMA and to the state medical authorities, as a danger to his patients.

  • 32. Milhouse wrote:

    I repeat what I wrote earlier, because it’s important. There are serious issues with gardasil, but they are not medical issues. If you’re unsure whether to allow your daughter to be vaccinated, consult your rov and mashpia, as well as your doctor, and consider their advice carefully. There are strong arguments for and against it, and in the end each girl’s parents must decide.


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