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The flu shot debate is always an emotional one. Supporters on both sides are convinced they are right and that anyone who decides otherwise is simply misinformed.
This article will not be emotional. It's simply going to present the facts. The information contained here was not gathered from internet websites or blogs. It came from peer-reviewed literature written by scientists with the best credentials for commenting on the topic.
Flu Shot History
In 1957 – 1958, a terrible flu outbreak swept the US and resulted in a massive outcry for health agencies and the government to act. Medical options were limited at that time, so in 1960 nationwide flu vaccination became strongly recommended by the US Surgeon General. This launched the beginnings of a precedent which is still in effect today, mainly that everyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot each year.
Unfortunately, not one shred of data existed to support the mandate.
Lancet (2012). "This recommendation was made without data for vaccine efficacy or effectiveness for high-risk populations." *Osterholm, M. et al (2012). Lancet Infect Dis 12: 36-44
There were no scientific studies done to warrant this move by health officials, and there have been no scientific studies done since that prove flu shots are either safe or effective.
In the Lancet (2007) "Recent excess mortality studies were unable to confirm a decline in influenza related mortality (flu deaths) since 1980, even as vaccination coverage increased from 15% to 65%." *Simonson, et al (2007). Lancet Infect Dis 7: 658-66
So even though millions more people are getting flu shots since 1980, it has not been shown that flu deaths are decreasing as a result.
Another article in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine commented on statistics collected over the last two decades, saying that "no trial data support a mortality benefit (lowered death rate) with influenza vaccination." In fact, both the rates of flu infection and death have increased in people 65 years and older, and they continue to increase as vaccine coverage becomes more widespread. *Eurich, D. et al (2008). Am j Respir Crit Care Med 178: 527-33
What Vaccine Manufacturers Say About The Flu Shot
The next time you're thinking of getting a flu shot, read the product insert carefully. You'll find some pretty unsettling statements regardless of the vaccine manufacturer. They tell you themselves, in very small writing, that "There have been no controlled clinical trials demonstrating a decrease in influenza after vaccination..." and that "this vaccine has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential."
This is basically telling you, in purposefully confusing language, that no scientific data exists showing that the flu shot protects you from getting the flu, and that no science is available proving it won't give you cancer.
The insert will also give you a list of reported side effects, most of which should be great cause for alarm.
Does The Flu Shot Save Lives
Every year, as winter approaches, the flu shot campaign gets underway with an intense plea for seniors to get their vaccines. As a result, millions of adults age 65 and older are vaccinated at the request of their physician.
There is absolutely no scientific data which proves that vaccinating the elderly protects them from the flu or from dying from the flu. All available statistics are nothing more than observational data and not the result of randomized, placebo controlled trials.
A review of all existing literature on the effectiveness of flu shot campaigns showed that "the available evidence is of poor quality and provides no guidance regarding the safety, efficacy, or effectiveness of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 or older." *Jefferson, T. et al (2010). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 8: Article #CDOO4879
The article goes on to explain that only rarely is the upcoming seasonal flu strain ever predicted with any accuracy. On rare occurrence when it is matched correctly, however, 100 people need to be vaccinated to avoid one set of influenza symptoms, and there is no evidence that vaccines affect complications (such as pneumonia) or transmission.
Published in the Lancet, 2012:
"There are no randomized controlled trials showing efficacy of TIV (the inactive flu virus) in people aged 2-17 years or adults aged 65 and older. For LAIV (the live flu virus), there are no randomized controlled trials showing efficacy in people aged 8-59." *Osterholm, M. et al (2012). Lancet Infect Dis 12: 36-44
How can this be? All the pamphlets, fliers, and other flu shot advertisements report up to a 85% effectiveness rate! Let me show you how these statistics are reported and why you shouldn't trust them.
How Flu Shot Results Are Reported
A 1994 study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in which 1,838 people over 60 years of age either received a flu shot or a placebo (saline solution). The study concluded that the flu shot resulted in a 50% reduction of the flu. *Govaert, M.E. et al (1994). J.A.M.A. 272: 1661-65
That outcome is actually pretty amazing. What physician would NOT urge his/her elderly patients to get a flu shot if this were true? And what responsible government wouldn't stand behind this recommendation when shown such results?
Here was the ACTUAL outcome of the study:
- 3% of those who were NOT vaccinated got the flu.
- 2% of those who WERE vaccinated got the flu.
Or on the flip side...
- Of those who were NOT vaccinated, 97% remained flu-free.
- Of those who WERE vaccinated, 98% remained flu-free
This is, in reality, only a 1% difference, but they did something tricky with the numbers.
They are comparing the 1% difference to the 2% who were vaccinated and calling it a 50% success rate because 1 is half of 2! This is immoral, unethical, and bordering on criminal.
This is the exact same way that studies on cholesterol, high blood pressure, and scores of other drugs are reported. It's also the method by which results are conveyed to government agencies and other groups that make drug policy.
Every single report of vaccine efficacy in existence is based on this kind of RELATIVE difference between vaccinated and non-vaccinated subjects, not the ACTUAL difference! What's worse is they are legally allowed to state their results this way and are misleading the public in doing so.
Why Do We Get The Flu
The presence or absence of "germs," the temperature outdoors, and/or the people in your environment, have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you get the flu. The real concern is the health of your immune system.
- That's exactly what they are trying to do by injecting you with the flu virus! They are attempting to artificially enhance the effectiveness of your immune response.
The immune system is only influenced by two variables: stress and nutrition.
Stress comes from a number of sources. All these things depress immune function:
- Processed food
- Chronic pain
- Physical strain
- Lack of sleep
- Negative thinking
- And dozens of others
And, of course, just as a plant that lacks sun exposure will get sick, human immune cells that lack sufficient elements to function properly cannot fight infection.
If you've noticed, colds and flu are much more prevalent in the fall and winter months, and their incidents have been directly linked in dozens of studies to a Vitamin D deficiency. In fact, some authorities believe that a lack of Vitamin D is the ONE AND ONLY cause of the flu.
Sufficient levels of Vitamin D raise our innate immune response, which is natural and inborn, and is exponentially more effective than that acquired by artificial means, as with drugs and vaccines.
Adequate amounts of Vitamin D have actually been shown to deactivate the flu virus in human subjects by three different independent research groups. *Cannell, J. et al. Epidemiol Infect 134 (6) 1129-40
The typical recommendation of 400 (or even 1,000) IUs of Vitamin D per day is not sufficient to prevent colds and flu. *Cannell, J. et al. Epidemiol Infect 134 (6) 1129-40
- There is no way to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D during the winter months in most places of the country, so supplementation is necessary. Statistics acquired from parts of the world with tropical climates and little seasonal variation show a remarkable absence of the flu virus.
Vitamin D is fast becoming the first and most important recommendation made by health care professionals for strengthening the immune system against colds and flu. We recommend 4,000 IUs of liquid Vitamin D per day for women, 5,000 IUs per day for men, and a teaspoon of A&D formula for kids.
This course of action costs only pennies per day, provides the added benefit of adequate Vitamin D levels to all genes and immune cells which require it for wellness, and does not carry the safety risks inherent in vaccination.
For the science regarding Vitamin D and the flu virus, check this article.
Additional Flu Shot Studies
As we come across additional studies regarding the ineffectiveness of the flu shot, we will post them here:
A 2008 study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating children 6-59 months of age against the flu had no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons. "...significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting."
A 2008 study published in the Lancet reported that the flu shot did not reduce risk of pneumonia in the elderly.
A systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6-23 months was published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006 and found no evidence that the flu shot was any more effective than a placebo in children under 2 years of age.
For additional research on the flu shot visit the GreenMedInfo.com research page on the topic: