Do Flu Shots Work? Ask A Vaccine Manufacturer
Do you want to know if flu shots work? In this recorded phone call to a vaccine maker, the caller asks questions about mercury and how well the flu shot actually works. The answer is — perhaps unintentionally — a bit more honest than what you might hear from their ads.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
Do flu shots work? Each year enormous effort goes into producing that year’s vaccine and delivering it to appropriate sections of the population. And yet, year after year there are studies showing that flu vaccines DO NOT provide any benefit.
Flu Prevention Strategy Repeatedly Called Into Question
Two years ago a study in the British Medical Journal concluded that the effectiveness of annual flu shots has been exaggerated, and that in reality they have little or no effect on influenza campaign objectives, including reducing the number of hospital stays, time off work, and death from influenza and its complications.
Other studies, done prior and subsequently, also confirm these findings.
However, preventing flu-related deaths in the elderly has been, and still is, the primary argument for recommending flu shots each year. And, according to the theory of “herd immunity,” a majority of the population must be vaccinated in order to protect the lives of the elderly and other categories of people susceptible to flu-related complications.
However, the flu prevention strategy set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been called into serious question time and again.
Another study from 2005, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine also could not find support for the use of flu vaccine to prevent deaths in the elderly. The report highlights that although immunization rates in people over 65 have increased dramatically in the past 20 years, there has not been a consequent decline in flu-related deaths.
Do You Know What the Risks are?
Instead, there is emerging evidence that flu shots cause Alzheimer’s disease, most likely as a result of combining mercury with aluminum and formaldehyde. Mercury in vaccines has also been shown to be a contributing factor in autism.
Other serious, and potentially deadly, adverse reactions to the flu vaccine include joint inflammation and arthritis, anaphylactic shock (and other life-threatening allergic reactions), and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralytic autoimmune disease.
And, in the case of Tamiflu, thousands of cases of abnormal behavior, neuropsychiatric problems like convulsions, delirium or delusions, and brain infections, have been reported.
(Tamiflu is approved for treatment of uncomplicated influenza A and B in children 1 year of age or older. It is also approved for prevention of influenza in people 13 years or older.)
More Scientific Research Backing Up Recommendation to Avoid Flu Vaccines Like the Plague
For those of you who are still unconvinced, there’s plenty of scientific evidence available to back up the recommendation to avoid flu vaccines – if not for their potentially serious or deadly side effects, then for the simple reason that they don’t work, and don’t offer any real benefit to offset their potential health risks.
A sampling of these studies include:
A recent study published in the October 2008 issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicinefound that vaccinating young children against the flu had no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons. The researchers concluded that “significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting” examined.
A study published in the Lancet just two months ago found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people. Vaccination coverage among the elderly increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now, yet there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza or pneumonia.
That Lancet study supports a similar study done five years ago, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, which concluded that vaccination against pneumonia does not reduce your risk of contracting the disease.
Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine last month also confirms that there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza and pneumonia, despite the fact that vaccination coverage among the elderly has increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now.
Last year, researchers with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institutes of Health published this conclusion in the Lancet Infectious Diseases: “We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits.”
A large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in children. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.
New Theory May Explain the True Nature of the Flu, and Why Vaccines Don’t Work
One credible hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency disease.
Vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin,” may very well be one of the most beneficial vitamins there is for disease prevention. Unfortunately it’s also one of the vitamins that a vast majority of people across the world are deficient in due to lack of regular exposure to sunshine.
This hypothesis was presented by Dr. John Cannell and colleagues in the journal Epidemiology and Infection in 2006, and again, more recently, in the Virology Journal.
This explanation actually makes perfect sense.
The vitamin D formed when your skin is exposed to sunlight regulates the expression of more than 2,000 genes throughout your body, including ones that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. Hence, being overwhelmed by the “flu bug” could signal that your vitamin D levels are too low, allowing the flu virus to overtake your immune system.
For most people, the flu shot does not prevent illness, but actually does the polar opposite–it weakens your immune system and makes you more predisposed to the illness.
The people who actually die after contracting the flu do so because they are already sick and have compromised immune systems, and that certainly doesn’t have to include you.
In addition to making sure your vitamin D levels are in the optimal range, the following tips are surefire ways to improve the function of your immune system and greatly reduce your chances of getting the flu this winter: