Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do flu vaccines really work?

A seasonal reminder that not all we've been told by the "authorities" about flu vaccine can actually be demonstrated scientifically. The benefits may be somewhat dubious.

Since there is a dogma, a party line, that vaccination will reduce death rates by 50%, no one will do proper scientific studies to test the truth of it. However, there are more than a few reasons to doubt that the rate of efficacy is anything near that number. Careful epidemiological studies that have been done certainly challenge the conventional wisdom.

The Atlantic Magazine did a landmark article last year on the subject, and it is long but worth reading.

Does The Vaccine Matter? by Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer

"...The history of flu vaccination suggests other reasons to doubt claims that it dramatically reduces mortality. In 2004, for example, vaccine production fell behind, causing a 40 percent drop in immunization rates. Yet mortality did not rise. In addition, vaccine “mismatches” occurred in 1968 and 1997: in both years, the vaccine that had been produced in the summer protected against one set of viruses, but come winter, a different set was circulating. In effect, nobody was vaccinated. Yet death rates from all causes, including flu and the various illnesses it can exacerbate, did not budge. Sumit Majumdar, a physician and researcher at the University of Alberta, in Canada, offers another historical observation: rising rates of vaccination of the elderly over the past two decades have not coincided with a lower overall mortality rate. In 1989, only 15 percent of people over age 65 in the U.S. and Canada were vaccinated against flu. Today, more than 65 percent are immunized. Yet death rates among the elderly during flu season have increased rather than decreased. "

If you dare to know the truth about this controversy, read the entire article at this link -- http://tinyurl.com/238c85y -- or do a Google search for "Atlantic Magazine Does The Vaccine Matter."