Flu season is almost over. While the propaganda around the flu vaccine continues, the science behind the shots tells us how off the propaganda is. Let me warn you, if you're a fan of flu vaccines, you are probably not going to like what this new study has to say.
The authors of the study were reporting specifically on the effectiveness of the flu vaccine in the years 2012 to 2015. To do the study, they looked at 1,930 men and women who came down with the flu during those years and how effectively the flu vaccine worked for them. Out of this group, 815 (42%) of them tested positive for the flu. Of these, 72% tested positive for influenza A and 28% for influenza B. According to the authors, "Virtually all influenza A cases involved the subtype virus known as H3N2." And they went on to report that the vaccine efficacy or VE for this virus was -16%. So, what exactly does that mean?
Vaccine efficacy (VE) is the percentage of a reduction in a disease in a vaccinated group of people compared to an unvaccinated group. A VE of 100% would mean that the vaccine prevented the disease in 100% of those who got the vaccine. But what in the world does a negative VE like -16% mean? Believe it or not, it means that those men and women who had the vaccine were 16% more likely to get the flu than those who refused the vaccine. In other words, a negative VE is not a good thing for a vaccine to have. But hang on, there's more to talk about.
For example, what happens to the flu vaccine VE if you get the vaccine year after year? Hold on to your hats.
According to the report, if you had the vaccination both in 2013 and 2014, the VE then fell to -32%. And if you were unfortunate enough to have had the vaccine for three consecutive years, 2012 to 2015, the VE fell to a remarkable -54%. So, let's get this straight. If you had the flu vaccine each year from 2012 to 2015, you were 54% more likely to get the flu than if you declined the vaccine! I call that an amazing statistic. And one you are not likely to hear about on the Big Pharma-supported news. The authors go on to report that, "A similar pattern of reduced VE with repeat vaccination was observed for B(Yamagata) [virus], but the effect was less pronounced compared to H3N2." But here's my question, and most likely yours too at this point.
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Why in the world would the vaccine perform so badly? Here's what the authors had to say. "A combination of agent-host factors [an individual's genetics], including variation in the viral genome, and negative effects of repeat vaccination, likely contributed to poor influenza vaccine performance in 2014-15." Ok, so much for flu vaccine VE. But that's really not the end of the story in my mind.
Leaving aside the fact that getting the flu vaccine can actually increase your chances of getting the flu, what other problems are there with it? The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, known as VAERS, allows doctors and individual patients to report side effects following any vaccination, including the flu vaccine. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) uses VAERS to track, analyze, and make vaccine safety information available to the public. The problem with this system is that the majority of adverse reactions – even the serious ones — are not reported to VAERS. And, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 13% of the 30,000 post-vaccine events that are reported to VAERS are considered serious, associated with disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illness or death. Now here's some good news.
Government officials have been lamenting the fact that influenza vaccination rates are "concerningly" low in the U.S. and seem to be falling. Less than 50% of Americans have chosen to ignore the government's call to get their annual flu shot. Apparently, a lot of doctors and patients alike have figured out the truth about flu vaccines even before this new report. You all know by now that I'm not a fan of the endless vaccinations that Big Pharma keeps coming up with. Except in some fairly rare and very specific cases, the dangers simply do not outweigh the benefits. So, rather than get a flu vaccine, why not just take a few of the precautions that are safe, natural, and more effective.
Go through the archives of Second Opinion. Search "flu" and you will find several strategies that will not only prevent the flu, but will also treat the flu if you should get it. These include vitamin D, EpiCor, and others. Absolutely nobody needs to die from the flu. Natural therapies are all you need. But whatever you do, don't place your hope on flu vaccinations. They not only don't work, they increase your risk of getting the flu.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Skowronski DM, Chambers C, et al. A Perfect Storm: Impact of Genomic Variation and Serial Vaccination on Low Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness During the 2014-2015 Season. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Jul 1;63(1):21-32.