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Controversial Findings About Flu Vaccines for the Elderly

October 09, 2007 | 49,093 views
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A yearly flu vaccine has not been proven to prevent flu-related deaths in people over the age of 65, according to a review in the Lancet medical journal.

Nonetheless, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu shot for this purpose, citing research about the 36,000 yearly deaths and 200,000 annual hospitalizations for flu-related illness in the United States.

No studies have conclusively proven that flu shots prevent flu-related deaths among the elderly, according to the review, and some of the support for this practice is based on flawed data.

While some studies have shown a benefit for flu shots in younger adults, only a small number of trials included people over the age of 70 -- even though about 75 percent of flu-related deaths occur among that age group.

There is also evidence, according to the researchers, that the flu vaccines are less effective in older people because the elderly have lower immune activity.

Flu shots do not always prevent infection with the flu, though they can make the illness less serious.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases October 2007, Volume 7, Issue 10, Pages 658-666

Medical News Today September 25, 2007

Reuters September 24, 2007

Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions

With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it's critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.

NVIC Advocacy poster


National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact. It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.

Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your Smart Phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips.

So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury, or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at www.NVIC.org:

  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.

Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.

However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

This is the time of year when campaigns begin all over the United States -- at your doctor’s office, your pharmacy, and even at your grocery store -- urging you to get a flu vaccine.

Hopefully I am teaching you and providing you with enough data and scientific support so that you will not fall for all of the hype.

As this review has found -- flu shots are not even proven to reduce flu-related deaths in the elderly (one of the key groups for which they’re recommended).

What, then, is the point?

The point, as with so many other drugs and vaccines, is to pad the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture these worthless shots, and indirectly benefit the governmental agencies and personnel to whom they pay loads of money in the form of “lobbying” and “consulting fees.”

You may also be surprised to learn that nearly three years ago, a similar study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that flu shots prevent far fewer deaths in the elderly than previously thought.

That report highlighted that although immunization rates in the elderly (people over 65) increased 50 percent in the past 20 years, there has not been a consequent decline in flu-related deaths.

This certainly begs the question, if this finding came out years ago, why has nothing been done in the meantime to change the recommendation?

And, though the current review  provides excellent documentation as to the inadequacies of the flu vaccine, a very disconcerting statement was made by CDC flu expert Dr. Joe Bresee in the Reuters article above.

He said the CDC is considering other measures to tame the flu, including “the widespread vaccination of schoolchildren.” The rationale behind this is to stop the flu in children who “are a big part of community transmission.”

Why I Don’t Recommend Flu Shots

For most people, a flu shot does not prevent illness, but actually does the polar opposite -- it weakens your immune system and makes you more predisposed to the illness.

You may have been fooled into believing the only way to prevent death from the flu is to get a dose of the vaccine, however there are many natural ways to prevent the flu.

I speak from experience, because I have never received a flu shot and haven’t missed a day of work due to illness in over 20 years. If you, too, want to avoid the flu this year (and thereafter), here are the top steps to take:
The bottom line is to lead a healthy lifestyle, and you will likely not have to worry about coming down with the flu ever again.

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