We’re well into the annual influenza season, and the calls to get your flu vaccine are growing louder and more frequent.
You can now get “free” flu vaccines virtually anywhere. In fact, as the oil industry languishes, I half expect they’ll soon start offering the flu vaccine at service stations. (Or, should I say “self-service” stations…)
It may not be a bad idea, since those pump handles are probably one of the most contaminated surfaces in our modern, industrial world.
But that idea would only work if the flu vaccine were actually effective. The trouble is, it isn’t.
In fact, an “insider” colleague of mine recently shared with me a Center for Disease Control (CDC) document, which showed the effectiveness (mostly lack of effectiveness) of the seasonal influenza vaccine between 2005 and 2017.
This same colleague also worked in Congress with the House Government Reform Committee and its Chairman, the Honorable Dan Burton (R-Indiana) for many years.
During this time, she organized hearings on an array of hot-button issues, including vaccine problems; autism spectrum disorder; the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and natural alternatives to drugs; and medical education and training (or lack thereof) on human diet, nutrition and dietary supplements (just to name a few). I testified several times myself before Congress between 1995 and 2005, when I was active with my Policy Institute for Integrative Medicine.
So, both of us recognize — all too well — the bureaucratic doublespeak presented in this CDC document.
More governmental bureaucratic doublespeak
As this document shows, the CDC conducts two types of studies annually at five university hospitals to determine flu “vaccine effectiveness” (VE).
To be more specific, the researchers keep data on patients who receive the flu vaccine at these five locations. Then, they record how many of them fall ill with influenza and revisit their doctors. I wonder whether the effectiveness numbers, in reality, may be even lower because some people don’t revisit the doctor’s office when they get the flu. So those non-returners aren’t even counted into the figures.
In the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 flu seasons, the VE was only 10 percent and 21 percent, respectively. In other words, only one in 10 people and one in five people who got the flu vaccine were protected during these years.
Then, in 2006-2007, there was a “good” year with 52 percent VE. This means, if you got the flu vaccine in the 2006-2007 season, your chance of it being effective was about 50:50 — like flipping a coin.
Then, in 2007-2008, the VE went back down to 37 percent.
In the years between 2008 and 2010, the vaccine’s effectiveness clustered around the 50:50 mark. It then reached an all-time high VE of 60 percent between the years 2010 and 2011.
But don’t get too excited. Between 2014 and 2015 it plunged down to just 19 percent.
The bottom line?
At best, your odds of receiving protection from the flu vaccine run about 50:50. But you’ll never know which side of the coin you get, until it’s too late…
Plus, sometimes, you’ll get a vaccine that’s virtually worthless. But again, you won’t know until it is too late.
Furthermore, you have to roll the dice over and over again every year (besides rolling up your sleeve).
How far can they lower the standards for the flu vaccines?
Can you imagine if vaccines for deadly disease like smallpox, polio, hepatitis, typhoid, or the plague itself only had, at best, a 50:50 chance of working?
And then, can you imagine having to roll the dice again year after year with a risk that you’ll get an average 19 percent rate of effectiveness?
Thankfully, we hold other vaccines to a much higher standard of efficacy, as I learned in Africa and Asia during the 1970s. If not, those diseases would still be running rampant in much of the world today.
So, here’s the truth hiding in plain sight…
The CDC publishes these terrible numbers showing how dreadfully ineffective their annual influences vaccines really are. But then, right out in the open, they actually claim their VE studies “confirm” the value of flu vaccination as a public health intervention.
In my view, these numbers do not “confirm” the value of the flu vaccine — at least in any universe where basic arithmetic still counts!
Of course, their reports don’t mention a word about the acute and chronic adverse reactions to the flu vaccine. Younger, and older people especially, experience these bad reactions, as I previously reported. For that information, you have to get data from Canada and Europe.
I also think about these poor, sick, vaccinated patients who fall ill and visit the doctor’s office seeking care. Typically, they must be thinking they have something worse than the flu, because they got their vaccine!
As always, I advise skipping the annual flu vaccine. Instead, focus on building a strong immune system. I’ll tell you more about this tomorrow, by discussing the nine most effective ways to avoid influenza without getting the annual vaccine.
“Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness, 2005-2017,” Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) 8/27/2017