The Value of Flu Shots

By Darrel Crain, D.C.

My grandfather used to joke, “Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’.” His mathematical jest wasn’t about the flu vaccine, but it pretty well sums up the findings of a new study about flu shots published in the December 2008 Archives of Internal Medicine. Apparently you can cut the dose of the flu shot in half, and it works just as well as injecting a full dose.

That’s pretty cool. Think of the money savings, not to mention cutting in half people’s exposure to troubling and toxic vaccine ingredients. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Maybe it is. Let’s consider how well a full dose of the flu shot works in the first place.

“The vaccine doesn’t work very well at all. Vaccines are being used as an ideological weapon. What you see every year as the flu is caused by 200 or 300 different agents with a vaccine against two of them. That is simply nonsense.” This was the conclusion of lead author Thomas Jefferson, M.D. of the Cochrane Institute reporting on an extensive analysis of published medical research investigating annual flu shots.

So, to review flu shot logic so far, a dose of something that doesn’t seem to work at all can be cut in half and work just as well. To paraphrase my grandfather on the value of zero, take away half of nothing and you still end up with nothing. But surely there is some scientific basis for the massive flu-for-all each year, hopefully some published studies that prove flu shots work, right?

Oh yes, the shots are proven to “work” all right, as long as you belong to a subgroup of a subpopulation in a theoretical setting receiving a perfectly matched vaccine, but only if the statistics are manipulated to reach an arbitrary threshold of antibody titers in blood samples. As for keeping people well in the winter season, based on society’s actual experience, it appears that influenza vaccine is a matter of faith, not science.

For staying well, additional studies were published in 2008 suggesting noninvasive and effective strategies to prevent or reduce all influenza-like-illness, including actual influenza. These steps include increasing the levels of certain vitamins and getting outside for a bit of exercise on a regular basis.

Vitamin C Shot(photo credit: Het broertje van)

Vitamins C and D were once again singled out in 2008 for their importance. Vitamin C is required for virtually all cellular and immune functions. Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because it requires sunlight to be fully processed and utilized. During the “flu season,” people generally have less exposure to the sun, so additional vitamin D is helpful to ensure adequate levels. Selenium and zinc also top the list for vital nutrients needed for a healthy and robust immune system.

Each year rumors circulate claiming the flu shot can cause the flu, and each year flu shot authorities insist this is just not possible. They do admit that the shots may cause symptoms including terrible headaches, hideous body aches, major respiratory distress and general malaise. And it’s also true that these symptoms may be indistinguishable from the flu, but rest assured it isn’t the flu.

Over half the American public continues to shun the shot. Two-thirds of American medical workers also continue to snub the flu shot, which must be intensely embarrassing to flu shot officials. If the shot is so important, how come doctors and nurses ignore it? Some hospitals are trying to force the issue, but forced vaccination of hospital staff against their wishes is proving legally difficult.

Even so, the flu shot juggernaut seems to have taken on a life of its own. Children in New Jersey preschool programs are now required to get annual flu shots and efforts to mandate flu shots elsewhere across the nation are in full swing. It seems that medical freedom is simply too inconvenient for medical authorities to deal with any longer, and we’re advised to let experts decide what’s best for our kids.

The other day I was in town and stopped to pick up a few things at the supermarket/deli/drugstore/liquor store/dry cleaners/bank/coffee shop store. Remember the old days when drugs were at the drugstore, clothes were picked up at the cleaners and banking was done at the bank? Young people may be surprised to learn what we used to buy at grocery stores in those days–groceries!

I was greeted inside the front door with a large warning sign to expect a terrible flu season this year. Not only was this the perfect time to get a flu shot, I was in the right place. For some reason the sign forgot to mention that nine times out of ten, when someone thinks they have “the flu,” they actually have “influenza-like illness” with no relation to influenza or any potential to be affected by any influenza vaccine.

In fact, according to the flu weekly web site of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seasonal flu stats as of early December show influenza losing 98 to 2. In other words, the percentage of suspected influenza cultures submitted to laboratories by physicians testing positive for actual influenza virus was only 1.6 percent of all samples tested.

Each year tremendous public resources (read: taxpayer monies) are poured into promoting the flu shot, and each year it seems a new age group receives a recommendation from flu officials to get the shot. The list now includes pregnant women, not-so-pregnant women, tiny young babies, large older babies, children 6 months old to 6 years old, children 6 years to 18 years old, the immune compromised, the ailing elderly, the not-ailing elderly, the middle-aged healthy, and the middle-aged not-so-healthy. About the only group that hasn’t received a recommendation to get the flu shot is males over the age of 130 who are pregnant.

Speaking of all those doses of mercury, since flu shots can readily be made without that deadly neurotoxin, how come the overwhelming majority of formulas still contain it?

Could it be that the CDC concurs with playwright David Mamet that taking in high levels of mercury is simply the first step on a career path to become a thermometer?

Growing numbers of medical specialists are worried that annual injections of the flu shot components aluminum and mercury are in no way a laughing matter. Biogeneticist Hugh Fudenberg, M.D. has stated that the annual flu shot ritual greatly increases the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The CDC and other flu shot enthusiasts want everybody to get the shots, apparently believing we’ll all avoid the flu if we do so. This strategy was actually tried in Ontario, Canada where flu shots were administered to all citizens free of charge for four years beginning in 2000. At the end of the four years the results were analyzed. The conclusions of this great medical experiment were reported in the June 2006 journal Vaccine: A 189 percent increase in vaccination rates at an increased cost of 467 percent. And what was the effect of all these flu shots on the incidence of the flu, the number of emergency room visits, and hoped-for reductions in the severity of flu cases? Zero.

Which brings us back to Grandpa’s math lesson. He was born in 1881, so clearly he wasn’t describing some newfangled kind of math. He was able to think for himself and recognize a zero when he saw it. @ 10:50 am | Article ID: 1231872666