PureInsight | November 12, 2006
There is little proof that the flu vaccine is effective, concludes an
analysis of studies by the renowned Cochrane Collaboration, an
independent international group of individuals dedicated to reviewing
clinical trials related to health care, and published in the British
Medical Journal on Oct. 28.
"There is a big gap between policies promoting annual influenza
vaccinations for most children and adults and supporting scientific
evidence," said epidemiologist, Dr. Tom Jefferson, coordinator of the
study from the Cochrane Vaccines Field, Rome, Italy. "Given the
significant resources involved in annual mass influenza campaigns,
there is urgent need for re-evaluation of these strategies."
The reviewed clinical studies were on the inactivated virus in shots, not FluMist®, which is a live virus nasal spray.
The Cochrane analysis found most studies flawed. Studies were not
randomized, had difficulty in analyzing trial conditions, had no
controls, and there was confusion between influenza and influenza-like
infections, which can result in an over-estimation of the true impact
of the illness and flu deaths. In addition, not enough studies were
done on the safety of vaccines.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is the kind used by health officials to convince the public to vaccinate their children.
Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and
conducted by Kaiser Permanente doctors, this study was a nonrandomized
analysis of the records of babies 6 to 23 months old who were given flu
shots plus other vaccines between 1991 and 2003. No unvaccinated
controls were used. The study used only the cases of those who had seen
the doctor within 14 days of receiving the flu vaccination. These
criteria eliminated dozens of cases of adverse effects, including
convulsions and brain injury. Some of the cases of convulsions and
Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome (an autoimmune disease resulting in muscle
weakness and/or paralysis) were attributed to other vaccines or
coincidence. Of the 19 investigators, nine had financial ties to
If a flu vaccination is desired, you can go to http://www.nvic.org/
for vaccine information. Multi-dose vials of vaccines still contain
mercury, thought to be responsible for most of the nerve damage from
Although the CDC's National Vital Statistics Reports cites that 753
people died from the flu in 2002, they now use a different calculation
method and have come up with 36,000 deaths annually from the flu.
According to Sherri Tenpenny, D.O., author and founder of New Medical
Awareness, "The oft repeated 36,000 deaths nationwide is nothing more
than a computer generated, ominous sounding guesstimate rather than an
actual number." Attempting to use the methods of the Vital Statistics
Reports, others have come up with even higher numbers of deaths. This
may be because the deaths for pneumonia are over 60,000, and pneumonia
is often a complication of the flu.
The CDC is encouraging physicians to administer flu vaccinations for
children from six months to five years old, adults over 50, and anyone
with chronic respiratory disease or diabetes. The flu season lasts from
October to June, so now is the time to decide on a course of action.
Studies Fail to Demonstrate Safety or Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccine in Children and Adults
Influenza vaccination: policy versus evidence http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/short/333/7574/912?ehom=