October 12, 2009

Rumor Reporting: POSSIBLE H1N1 Vaccine Death of an 8 Year Old Boy


First news reports out:

State probes unexplained death of Kings Park boy, 8

The unexplained death of an 8-year-old Kings Park boy at Stony Brook University Medical Center has sparked a state Department of Health probe, authorities said Wednesday.

The boy - identified as Sean Weisse by a family member - was taken off life support Sunday, three days after being hospitalized with symptoms of fever, nausea and a sore throat, said Claudia Hutton, a health department spokeswoman.

"There is no reason to believe the hospital did anything except provide the best medical care," Hutton said. "Any time a child dies unexpectedly, it is of great interest to us."

The probe is not aimed at Stony Brook's pediatric intensive care unit, the subject of state scrutiny for past quality of care issues, Hutton said. She said a hospital inspection team was investigating it as "an adverse event."

Stony Brook staffers have conducted blood and spinal fluid tests but have not determined the cause of death, Hutton said, adding that doctors believed the fatal illness was viral. More tests are scheduled on the spinal fluid taken at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, where the boy was first taken after becoming ill, Hutton said.

There will be no autopsy at the family's request, Hutton said.

"Mysterious deaths do happen and there are times when you cannot get all the answers that you want," Hutton said. "I don't know how certain, in the end, a cause of death will be."

Sean, a third-grader at Park View Elementary School, is scheduled to be buried Thursday after a funeral Mass at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Kings Park. The boy's parents, Steven and Kelly Weisse, asked that donations be made to the Special Education Parent Teachers Association of the Kings Park Central School District. They declined interview requests.

Health authorities sought to assure the public that Sean did not die from a reaction to a flu vaccine shot last week, a claim posted this week on several Internet message boards and blogs.

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Hutton said the boy was given a regular seasonal flu shot in a private physician's office, but results from blood and spinal fluid tests show that it is "extremely unlikely" that the vaccination caused his illness later.

"There is always a very remote chance, but it is so remote that it is almost a scientific certainty that it is not vaccine-related," Hutton said. "It is just a very sad family tragedy."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fatal reactions to flu shots are rare.

At a wake in Kings Park Wednesday night, friends and family remembered a smiling boy who loved skateboarding. His skateboard was placed near his coffin amid flowers and photographs.

"Every picture he has a big grin on," said Kerry Leo, a family friend from Kings Park.

Counselors were on hand this week at Park View Elementary to help students and faculty, said Susan Agruso, superintendent of the Kings Park Central School District. "This is a profoundly sad time for our community," she said. "Our sincerest sympathies go out to the student's parents, family and friends."

Caution, Caution, Caution... this is a rumor that I am reporting. Let's not jump to any premature conclusions.

But since it is a rumor that I have now heard from multiple sources so I am putting it out there so that it gets some attention and is either corroborated or debunked.

Yesterday this was posted by an anonymous source on a public message board:

8 Year Child dies after getting H1N1 Vaccine in NY

8 year old child who just recieved the H1N1 vaccine at STONYBROOK Hospital in New York dies after recieving vaccine. The child who was a 3rd grader at Park View school in Kings Park New York( My sister's sons classmate ) with no undelying conditions, perfect health. I wonder if it will even make the news. Please spread the word you or your children are not Guinea Pigs. Tell everyone before it is too late.

I also got word of private discussion to the same effect by someone else in this community.

I have checked and found no mention of this in the media.

This has begun circulating on Face Book. Before this becomes internet gospel, hyper hysteria, or becomes buried, (or crushes some poor family that has lost a child do to something else) this needs to be vetted and public health officials need to be contacted on this.

Of course today is a holiday.

If you are in this community, please check in and offer any corroborating or debunking so that we can get a better picture of what has happened.


Update: Facebook entry by a local mom:

I know the boy, the family. Thats why I posted the other day not to get your kids the flu shot. This was an extreamly rare situation. The boy had a dormant virus that was stimulated by the flu shot. Even then his odds were 99:1 to survive. This was just very tragic case. Either way, I will never get the flu shot for me or my family."


Another post on a message board:

"I happen to know this little boy, as I am from Kings Park. He did not receive the H1N!, it was the reguar shot and he had a reaction to the egg in it. "


Another post on the initial thread:

The funeral home is Clayton Funeral Home, Kings Park, NY, claytonkingspark.com and the wake is Tuesday and Wednesday.

To clear up some of the misinformation that has been posted on here please know that he received the seasonal flu vaccine not H1N1, and he died from GBS - Guillain-Barre Syndrome- a paralyzing syndrome that can be triggered by a vaccination.

This has been a devastating and horrendous tragedy for this wonderful loving family. All of us who know them are praying for them.

So it is likely that a child has died following the flu shot, either seasonal or H1N1, as people are piping up with confirmable details. But the details of the stories don't match.

Officials need to get ahead of this story. Media.... you got wind of this yet?


Unknown said...

Obviously it's important to know about any serious side effects of a new vaccine. However, these rumors are very, very dangerous. Please stop reporting rumors. They are just that. Especially with so many people being connected online nowadays, it's too easy for these lies to spread.

If there is a confirmed death from a vaccine, I want to know about it. But please stop posting an bunch for fearful rumors that have no basis whatsoever.

Ginger Taylor said...


I rarely spread rumors, and I have not included half of the rumors that I have heard about this story... The child's name is public, but I am not reporting that even.


Reporting this rumor is important because we don't know that the authorities are being honest with us about injuries and deaths associated with this vaccine.

Case in point my earlier story about a German man falling ill and coughing up blood after the H1N1 vaccine, and the subsequent blow off of his reaction by the physicians running the study. Had he not come forward, we would know nothing of this.

FYI, a Long Island new station reported on this case today, but their web site dose not allow those outside their broadcast area to view the story.

Hopefully there will be a print version soon.

So in the future, if I believe that it serves the interest of the public so that a story gets investigated, I will report rumors. But will always endeavor to do so responsibly and flag them as such so that you can take them with the appropriate caution.

I personally do not trust the governments "confirmed numbers".

This is a watchdog site.

Ginger Taylor said...

... and again...

These rumors have a basis. Multiple reports from locals... obit is published online (although I have chosen not to link to it).

Kim Wombles said...

And your concern for the 86 children who have died from the H1N1 flu since April is where? Instead you run a post about a woman who TEN days after she gets a vaccine becomes ill and is diagnosed with distonia. So, anything bad that happens to me medically, I can blame on anything I ate, ingested, had injected or took that was a medication from ten days prior? Really?

And this post? Again 86 children. 14 this week. 19 the week before. Dead, verified from the H1N1.

Your concern is where for these families?

Ginger, seriously, you're going to tell me the government is lying about these deaths? Really?

Critical thinking skills might come in handy. Some skepticism of your own conclusions might be helpful. Looking around with an open mind, that'd be good, too.

When the H1N1 vaccine becomes available here, my son and my husband and I will be getting it. My girlies, they just went through having the virus. It was a very long and miserable week for them. How much worse do you think it was for those 30 plus families in the last two weeks who buried their children?

Ginger Taylor said...


By no means is anything that I write intended to diminish the suffering of ANY family's loss. Honestly I have a hard time even thinking about those losses after walking through the death of Chandler's classmate with their family. There is nothing worse.

(And for regular readers of my blog, i proclaimed years ago that writing about children's deaths was difficult for me and I probably wouldn't be doing much of it).

These posts are not about grieving the deaths or illnesses, perhaps they should be, but that is not my focus in the midst of this pandemic response. I have been trying to be clinical here.

I have not written about the flu deaths as they are well documented publicly. Potential vaccines deaths are not.

Vaccine decisions are all about weighing risks. In order to make decisions based on true informed consent, you have to know know both risks.

CDC et al has had a long history of exaggerating the benefits of vaccination while minimizing the risks. This blog is equal time to those who only look at the risk of not vaccinating.

(Trying to be clinical about this) CDC has historically reported that around 100 children die of the flu every year. Until this month, we looked like we were on target for the same number of flu deaths. If this trend continues, we will clearly exceed that.

86 deaths out of millions of children who have contracted the disease, above average for flu deaths, but not exponential. If a child has died from the H1N1 vaccine the first week they rolled out, then that may be a MUCH higher than average flu vaccine death rate, and more importantly, would mean that the vaccine can kill.

We already know that the flu can kill.

Now... still don't know if this child even got the swine flu shot or not. So it is still wait and see, but this is not about sad story v. sad story, this is about knowing the true risks.

You have made your decision for your family based on what you think is best for your family, and you are satisfied that your decision is based on the best information. That is really the goal here. I am not satisfied that any decision I would make today is based on the best information, because I don't believe that I am being given a true picture of what is going on in vaccine reactions OR in flu deaths.

To be clear, I have never said that the government is lying about vaccine deaths (please don't put words in my mouth). I just want more information. They throw out a number, and even when that number is absolutely accurate, a lot of important data is left out.

(For example... Maine is in the top three for infection rates - spread through all the camps here this summer - yet not one child has died here. That is notable. We have only had ONE death, and that was not even from the virus, it was an elderly, chronically ill man who had been in the hospital for five weeks and his illness was complicated by the swine flu. But reports didn't even say that he died FROM it. So clearly high rates of the illness do not directly correlate with high rates of death. Why? What is it not a big deal in Maine?)

I would love to know more about the kids who have died. Any risks factors emerging that parents can use to determine if their child is one who will ride it out or will suffer terribly from it? What have we learned from these deaths?

We are not getting that information from HHS or CDC.

My kids had it already too. It was just a sore throat and a cough for them, and Chandler was lethargic for about 3 hours. Other than that, they played like normal. I had read about the new understanding of Vitamin D, probiotics and other methods of fighting it, I implemented them, and it was all smooth sailing.


Ginger Taylor said...


Did these kids who died have vitamin D deficiencies? The CDC released some info that some docs interpreted as the kids who died from this also had a high rate of chronic illness that is associated with D deficiencies. But is CDC looking into that and discussing it openly? No.

I even called my own health department and asked them to start talking about the possibility of encouraging more D this winter (especially as this is Maine), but nothing doing.

The false dichotomy of "Vaccinate or Die" keeps being held out, as if there are no other options for keeping your kids well.

Vaccination is a personal decision, and you are absolutely free to do as your conscience tells you. I want to be clear about that.

"Instead you run a post about a woman who TEN days after she gets a vaccine becomes ill and is diagnosed with distonia. So, anything bad that happens to me medically, I can blame on anything I ate, ingested, had injected or took that was a medication from ten days prior? Really?"

If you check the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program's table of injuries, you can see that it can take weeks for vaccine reactions involving the immune system to emerge. And the determination that her distonia was a vaccine reaction was determined by two hospitals, Fairfax and Johns Hopkins, so my decision to run this was not based on 'post hoc ergo propter hoc', but on the medical consensus of this woman's case.

Kim Wombles said...

On the contrary, Ginger, by presenting in isolation a potential death from an adverse reaction and not placing it in context, you are inflating the perceived risk of adverse reactions. And since you take pride in your advanced degree in psychology from a prestigious university, I'm going to make the assumption that your background is at least as good as mine. You should know from a psychological standpoint the net effect of what you're doing with these types of posts, especially when not placing the information within its context.

You say it's well documented the deaths that occur from the flu, but you and I both know who the bulk of your readers are and their general beliefs regarding viral infections, the efficacy of vaccines, and the collusion between government and industry to hide the "real" cause of autism. You're feeding this, not critically examining it, nor providing any tools for readers who might not have the background to do so.

If your goal was to provide accurate information for readers to be informed consumers regarding vaccines, you would not do so sensationally and with not even the modicum of some evidence.

Add to that, you're somewhat inconsistent in your statements, as well. You have to tell folks about it, because you don't trust the government to tell the truth about the adverse reactions, but you then assert to me that the deaths from the disease are already known. So, they're honest about this,but not about adverse reactions. And you're to be commended because there are more rumors you could spread, but you're being restrained in your blogging on it?

Ginger Taylor said...

Well again KW... I do have evidence. I posted this so that public pressure would be brought to bear on health authorities to stop the rumors and look into this.

I think you have read much more into this than need be.

I have not asked to be commended on anything.

This is a news story very relevant to the current pandemic push. If you think that this should not be discussed, then you are certainly entitled to that opinion.

I don't agree.

Thanks for visiting the site.

Kim Wombles said...

People saying things on facebook and posting it on forums is not evidence; it's heresay.

Ginger Taylor said...

again... I am referring to both public AND private information.

Giving Love Encounters said...


Thank you for your post.

As a mother of 5, I have often found information on your site that is hard to find elsewhere and nowhere to be found in the media.


Josh Day said...

Ginger, I also thank you for sharing this information and continuing to speak up. The needlessly aggressive "commentary" after your posts as of late call out even louder for people to question what they're being spoon-fed by their so-called health care providers and the media "authority."

Tanya said...

I wanted to comment on your comment that stated this, "So it is likely that a child has died following the flu shot, either seasonal or H1N1, as people are piping up with confirmable details. But the details of the stories don't match." referring to the comment that the child died of GBS. The product inserts for all of the vaccines from each manufacture state that GBS is a known risk. Also, the swine flu pandemic in 1976, there was 4000 people that got GBS after getting the vaccine, they ended up pulling the vaccine.