I've said for years that you should avoid the flu vaccine and antiviral drugs for several reasons. The biggest reason is that they just don't work. Now the prestigious journal The Lancet confirms what I've been saying. In two separate studies, the journal alert us to the dreadful implications of our reliance on flu vaccines and drugs to protect us from the Avian flu.
One paper examined all the data from patient studies over 37 years. Vaccines at best showed a "modest" ability to prevent influenza or its complications in the elderly. "The runaway 100% effectiveness that's touted by proponents was nowhere to be seen," said Tom Jefferson, a Rome-based researcher with the Cochrane Vaccine Fields project.
Jefferson went on to say, "There's a wild overestimation of the impact of these vaccines in the community," In other words, in case of a pandemic, there's no reason to believe that these vaccines would work on the elderly.
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A companion article found that new flu strains are becoming increasingly resistant to antiviral drugs. Only the expensive drug Tamiflu promises to be effective against the bird flu. However, even its use is called into question. Previous studies have shown how quickly flu viruses mutate into drug-resistant strains. And it may have already happened.
In Vietnam, a 14-year-old girl was caring for her brother who was sick with the bird flu. She took Tamiflu to ward off the disease. It didn't work. She got sick anyway.
When scientists checked her blood, they discovered genetic mutations in some of the virus strains. These mutations made Tamiflu virtually useless against the virus.
Despite that, wealthy nations are stockpiling all the Tamiflu they can get. It may be a waste of money. (Unless you consider the profits made by Big Pharma. Some reports suggest that the push for Tamiflu could be motivated by those who will profit by its sales.)
Action to take: For your health's sake, please don't be misled into getting a flu shot. At best it's a bad crapshoot. At worst, it's a direct ticket to Alzheimer's. The aluminum, mercury and other chemical preservatives can injure your brain.
Eat right, exercise moderately, get plenty of sunshine, and if there's a flu outbreak, remember that high dose vitamin C, vitamin A, oxygen, Sambucol and homeopathy will likely be your best bet. The homeopathic oscillococcinum, available in most health food stores, has been a long-time mainstay for prevention of flu. Many of my colleagues and patients swear by it, and it has no downside. Just be sure you're taking it as directed during the flu season to prevent the flu - not to treat it.
The Lancet September 21, 2005.