I admit that last post was kind of intense, all be it a little controversial. A few readers didn’t much care for the way I re-evaluated the numbers, even going as far as to say that I was lying. I am aware that not everybody is ready to be un-plugged from the matrix of mainstream medicine, but I certainly don’t want anybody to walk away from this blog with a bad taste in their mouth. My goal is to empower you to take control of your health, stimulate thought and discussion, and open your eyes, ears and hearts to different opinions other than your own- not doop you into not getting a vaccine because of what I personally believe. Luckily a little syntax can go a long way, so lets see if I can’t clarify and break that last post into bullet points.

  • Looking at the results from the 2012 meta-analysis, the flu vaccine is about 56% effective. In other words, about half as many people get the flu when vaccinated according to the cited studies (4). However, this number does not take into account the numerous confounding variables that likely also contribute to so-called “vaccine effectiveness”.

  • However, the flu vaccine decreases incidence of the flu by 1.55%. That is, it lowers the odds of someone getting the flu from 2.73 to 1.18% (4).

  • Researchers estimate that for every 100 people who get the vaccine, ONE case of influenza like illness (ILI) is prevented (10). Keep in mind, ILI may or may not be the actual flu, it simply means that someone feels like the flu.

  • Other research estimates that for every 4,000 elderly people who receive the vaccine, ONE case of influenza related death is prevented (5). It is worth noting that it is the elderly who are most likely to get the flu and also account for approximately 90% of all influenza-related deaths.

  • This is all assuming that confounding variables are not responsible for the benefit seen. However, there is ample evidence that indicates that part or ALL of the benefit seen in vaccination studies is due to variables other than vaccine effectiveness (1,2,4). For more on this, please see my previous article.

  • It has been shown that the flu vaccine doesn’t do anything to prevent community acquired pneumonia (9). This is important, because community acquired pneumonia causes approximately 34,000 of the 36,000 yearly deaths associated with the flu.

 

I would also like to point out that the flu vaccine is not benign. It, like anything else, can do harm. When you get a flu shot you are getting injected with things like mercury, formaldehyde, and aluminum salts (11). Just like we should look at the label for the foods we eat, so should we at least look at the ingredients of the vaccines we inject into our bodies. If you saw a food with formaldehyde in it would you still eat it? Would you feed it to your child?

Lastly, have you ever noticed the frequency with which the flu vaccine seems to make people sick? I’m not saying that it gives you the flu, but it seems like a lot of people just don’t feel good after they get the flu shot. I know that word of mouth hardly has the street-cred of a meta-analysis, but its still something. After all, it was only simple hearsay that warned our ancestors to not eat the poisonous “death cap” mushroom a few thousand years ago… Imagine what would have happened if nobody had listened back then! If only Piers Morgan had listened to theflu vaccine nay-sayers….. (12)

I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to prevent the flu. Nobody wants to get the flu, and it can be a serious illness. I just don’t think that the flu shot is the safest, most effective or most logical way to do it. Instead of taking a disease-centered approach to care, I think that we’d have a better shot at preventing diseases if we focused on our health. For that matter, even if you do choose to get the flu shot I encourage you to still take an active roll in your health. Don’t simply rely on the supposed passive immunity from the vaccine to save you, but take every step you can to ensure your whole-body health this flu season.

In health,

Nikki

References:
(1-10) Please see references from my previous post
(11) http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/vaccine-decision/ingredients.html
(12) http://2012thebigpicture.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/piers-morgan-falls-ill-days-after-public-flu-shot-with-dr-oz/

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