flu vaccine offers little or no protection from flu and may increase risk of coronaviruses

The government and the media are constantly bombarding us with the message to get the flu shot: especially now to prevent a "twindemic." They constantly claim that it is the best way to protect against the flu, but they never offer any studies in evidence; they always label criticism of the flu shot "disinformation" despite the plethora of studies offered in evidence. So, look at the evidence, and decide for yourself. But, listen to the science, not the media.

Listen to the Science, Not the Media
Though the media and the government keep telling you to get the flu shot, the highly respected Cochrane Collaboration found that “[e]vidence from systematic reviews shows that vaccines have little or no effect on the effects measured” (BMJ 2006;333:912). That means flu vaccines have not helped prevent the flu. A 2014 Cochrane Collaboration evaluation of 116 studies found that vaccinating adults did not change the number of people hospitalized nor rates of complication and had only “a very modest effect” on the number of lost days of work (Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Mar 13;(3):CD001269).

A 2007 Cochrane systematic review of 274 flu vaccine studies issued the important warning that studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry were significantly more likely to arrive at conclusions favourable to flu vaccines than publicly funded studies. They found that “reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions” and recommended that, since their review included many industry funded studies, “The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding.” In other words, the Cochrane review found that there is modest to no evidence of benefit to flu vaccines and that even this much evidence should be considered cautiously (Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2010 Jul 7;(7):CD001269). 35.4% of the controlled studies in the 2014 systematic review were also industry funded.

The most recent Cochrane review has not much improved the picture. It found that the flu vaccine probably has a small protective effect but calls the impact only modest. 71 healthy adults would have to be vaccinated to prevent one of them from getting the flu. Importantly, the review found that the flu vaccine has little or no effect on hospitalisations or number of working days lost, the most important consequences of the flu (Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2018, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD001269. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001269.pub6).

Who Benefits from Flu Vaccines? Not the Elderly.
But that still leaves the universal recommendation that seniors get the flu vaccine to protect them from serious complications from the flu that can lead to death. But this claim, too, fails to stand up to scientific scrutiny. When subjected to proper analysis, the claimed protection against risk of death in the elderly drops to statistically insignificant levels (Am J Respir Care Med 2008 ;178: 527-533). Another study concluded that increased vaccination is not correlated with decreased mortality among seniors (Arch Intern Med 2005;165:265-272).

A Cochrane systematic review of 75 studies on seniors could find only one controlled study. The researchers “were unable to reach clear conclusions about the effects of the vaccines in the elderly.” They further conclude that “The available evidence is of poor quality and provides no guidance regarding the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 years or older” (Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2010 Feb 17;(2):CD004876). A 2018 update added eight more controlled studies. It found only a slight 2.4%-6% reduction of risk of flu in vaccinated seniors, but uncertainty over diagnosis rendered this result “low certainty.” There was no advantage of vaccination when it came to pneumonia or death. The authors cautioned that the results were hurt by “biases in the design or conduct of the studies.” The overall conclusion of the updated systematic review is that “The available evidence relating to complications is of poor quality, insufficient, or old and provides no clear guidance for public health regarding the safety, efficacy, or effectiveness of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 years or older” (Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2018 Feb 1;2:CD004876).

Not Healthcare Workers Who Work with the Elderly
A 2013 Cochrane systematic review of flu vaccination for healthcare workers who work with seniors found absolutely no benefit: the vaccine offered no protection against the flu nor against hospitalization. It also offered no protection against death from lower respiratory infection. The review concluded that “This review does not provide reasonable evidence to support the vaccination of healthcare workers [who work with people over 60] to prevent influenza” (Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013 Jul 22;(7):CD005187).

Not Pregnant Women or Their Babies
Doctors don’t only recommend the flu shot for seniors, they also recommend that pregnant women get inactivated flu vaccines even though there is little research on the safety of that recommendation during the first trimester. An important study set out to see if that recommendation is responsible by studying the effect of getting a flu vaccine that included protection against swine flu (pH1N1) on spontaneous abortions. The results were unexpected and disturbing. The study compared 485 women who had had spontaneous abortions with those who had not. It found that women who had spontaneous abortions were twice as likely to have had the flu shot 1-28 days before the abortion. For women who were getting the flu shot for the second year in a row, the risk of miscarriage went up by a significant 770%. For women who were not also vaccinated the year before, the increase in risk was a nonsignificant 30% (Vaccine 2017;35(40):5314-22).

But, since there is no reason for the recommendation that pregnant women get the flu vaccine, there is no reason to chance the risk of miscarriage. It is currently recommended that women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy get the flu vaccine. But an analysis of hospital admissions found that women who got vaccinated during pregnancy had the same risk for influenza-like illnesses as women who did not get vaccinated. There was also no difference in the risk for outpatient visits. As for the babies, the ones who were born to vaccinated mothers had the same risk of influenza and pneumonia as infants born to unvaccinated mothers. There was also no benefit when it came to outpatient visits. The study concluded that there is no demonstrable benefit to the flu vaccine for pregnant women (Am J Perinatol 2004;21(6):333-9).

The 2018 Cochrane Review discussed earlier found that protection from the flu in mothers and newborns was even smaller than in the rest of the population.

Not Your Children
When a double-blind study put vaccinating kids to the test by comparing vaccinated children to unvaccinated children who received a placebo for 272 days, there were 88 cases of the flu in the unvaccinated group, but—wait for it—there were 116 cases in the vaccinated group. What’s worse is that there were 487 non-flu respiratory viruses in the vaccinated group but only 88 in the unvaccinated group. So, the flu vaccine makes things significantly worse for kids (Clinical Infectious Diseases 2012;54(12):1778-83).

A second study looked at the flu vaccine for infants between 6 and 24 months. It found that the rate of influenza was not significantly different between infants who were vaccinated and infants who were not. They concluded that getting the flu vaccine did not reduce the rate of influenza in infants and children between 6-24 months (Pediatr Int 2004;46(2):122-5.

The More Often You Get it, the Worse it Works
But, it gets worse. We are constantly told to get the flu shot every year, but Canadian researchers identified the troubling result that getting the flu vaccine each year diminishes its effectiveness. When they followed 1,939 people, they found that the ones who got the flu vaccine in the 2014-2015 season, but not the year before, had a 53% vaccine effectiveness. However, the people who got it that season and also the season before had their effectiveness rate drop significantly to -32%. If they got it that year and the two years before, the effectiveness dropped to -54%. The researchers concluded that there is a negative effect of repeated vaccination (Clin Infect Dis 2016;63(1):21-32).

A Special Problem for this Flu Season
Thought the flu vaccine is being heavily promoted to protect against the "twindemic" of flu and COVID, there is actually some evidence that the flu vaccine increases the risk of getting coronaviruses.

A large study of 3,349 Department of Defense personnel found that getting the vaccine to protect you against the flu increased your risk of getting a coronavirus by a significant 36% (Vaccine 2020 Jan 10;38(2):350-354).

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The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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