An interesting article in today’s Daily Mail about the Flu Vaccine, I have taken the meat off the bone so forgive my “Bias”.
The article states; The NHS spends around £100 million a year on the national flu jab campaign, but now a leading expert suggests it’s a waste of money and effort. Last year it was only 3% effective at great expense to the NHS
The problem the vaccine has is that viruses like bacteria they evolve and mutate sometimes rapidly and new strains of flu are continuously emerging.
As we have experienced from previous “marketing” scares by the pharmaceutical industry millions of health care funds have been wasted. New viruses often appear first in the Far East, jumping from poultry and pigs into humans and altering their genetic make-up. £560,000,000 was wasted by the Government on bird Flu in 2005 and the Swine Flu scare in 2009
“A global surveillance team run by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is employed to identify these strains as they emerge. The experts try to predict which strains of the virus are most likely to be prevalent in the coming year. They then advise governments on this six months ahead of the flu season”.
Last year, the experts failed completely to predict the mutant strain of flu. In previous years, when the WHO experts have predicted better, the jab’s effectiveness rates are still only around 50 per cent, thats their best estimates, its probably a lot lower and flu vaccines are not without risk In fact the article quotes an eminent researcher stating: “the harms are under-researched and under-reported”
Another interesting fact to emerge in recent years, is how another “Preventative drug”statins affect the physiological interaction of the flu vaccine. Prevention is obviously the future of health care as the current system is no sustainable, however now the Pharmaceutical industry is able to predict diseases through gene profiling. They would like to develop more new drugs to prevent disease before it starts?? I suppose nothing for shareholders in simply promoting a healthy lifestyle, In 2015 government funding is being cut for post natal services in the community
“Around seven million Britons are currently taking statins – cholesterol-lowering drugs – and now two major studies have warned that Statins seem to stop the flu jab working properly. When people on statins have the jab, they do not produce as many antibodies to the flu virus as normal. This means they may not be adequately protected against developing the illness”.
Statins also affect the immunes systems ability to fight other illness not just the flu. Again the solution would appear to be lifestyle by making sure you have a good diet an active lifestyle with minimum stress and wash your hands to reduce spread and mutation of viruses.
Dr Tom Jefferson is a world renowned scientist, who according to the Mail has spent 20 years meticulously studying the research data on influenza vaccination and passionately believes the medical evidence does not justify national flu jab campaigns.
He states; “the vast majority of clinical studies have been badly run – for instance, they were too small or sloppy with their analysis or open to influence from pharmaceutical companies”.
Nothing new there as I have written in another blog post “Good Science, Bad Science and PR for the Pharmaceutical Industry“.What’s more, Jefferson states;
“Results from studies funded by pharmaceutical companies have only been released selectively to show positive results, and have been spun by drug company representatives to give the impression their vaccines are more effective than they are in practice. ‘Every winter there is a panic about a new strain of flu, or a flu-like illness,’ he says. ‘But there is very little evidence that such vaccinations do very much” He goes onto state: ‘”Most flu infections are benign and self-limiting. The benefit of vaccines for high-risk individuals is not proven by research. The available studies show that the people in whom the vaccines work best are healthy adults – who need them least.”
Jefferson adds: ‘The available evidence indicates that you’d need to vaccinate between 33 and 99 people in order to avoid one person having symptoms. There is no evidence to show that it reduces hospitalisations and deaths, even in the at-risk groups, which is more important.’
I am one of the people considered at “high risk”, having had cancer treatment since 2011, many cycles of chemo, radiation etc. No flu vaccines, did get flu last year and it passed, just like anybody else i know who caught it. I have no doubt some people die from Flu, we are all going to die one day, so I do my best to stay healthy and keep the grim reaper from the door with a healthy life style rather than relying on vaccines
One very telling trait about the validity and safety of vaccines is who receives them and who opts out of them. If the chef wont taste the weird looking dish he just served you, you would reconsider. That metaphor is very relevant in the case of vaccinations. Does your Doctor take the same vaccinations which he recommends to you and your children?
Resident Physicians at Rutgers University in New Jersey were given the ultimate test. They were advised to get flu shots. A random survey was then conducted to see how many residents actually got them and 25% did not bother citing “lack of time to get immunized” as the most frequently cited reason for non-vaccination followed by “inconvenience of accessing vaccine program”. 3% effective I am amazed 75% of them bothered to turn up at all