More Insanity: Flu Shot "May Prevent Heart Attack"

flu shotA British study widely publicized in various online and print media outlets claims that flu vaccines can reduce the risk of heart attacks by as much as 19 percent. Critics, however, say the study is flawed, and that the "data" in it do not mean what the researchers are telling media.

The study looked at the records of 79,000 patients age 40 or older in England and Wales from 2001 to 2007, and after certain "controls" were factored in, researchers determined that those who'd gotten flu shots had fewer heart attacks. They admitted, however, that "there's still a debate about whether this is a true link or not."

Critics agreed that there definitely was a debate, and told USA Today that there were noticeable flaws in the study.

"Dr. Kirk Garratt, associate director of the division of cardiac intervention at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said the study found there were 19 percent fewer heart attack patients vaccinated in the previous year, not that there was a 19 percent reduction in heart attacks among the vaccinated," USA Today said.

"If getting a flu shot could prevent 19 percent of heart attacks, it would have been noticed before now," Garratt added.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

What impeccable timing this study has, coming out in major media headlines just as the U.S. flu season is ready to rear its head. The frustrating part is, most media are sporting headlines that just aren’t true, headlines that claim a study found flu shots will lower your heart attack risk.

This is a giant leap from what the study actually found, which was rates of vaccination among heart attack patients -- not a cause-and-effect relationship between flu shots and lowered heart attack risks.

As Dr. Kirk Garratt, associate director of the division of cardiac intervention at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told USA Today:

"This study did not measure risk of heart attack in vaccinated and non-vaccinated people. It measured rates of vaccination among heart attack patients and those without heart attack.”

In other words, the study found 19 percent fewer heart attack patients were vaccinated in the previous year -- which does not equate with the 19 percent reduction in heart attacks among those vaccinated, as the headlines would suggest.

Dr. Harlan Krumholz, director of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at Yale Medical School, also told USA Today that the findings were flawed and there was no justification for the 19 percent reduction in heart attacks being claimed.

Unfortunately, the headlines have already gone out, and millions have been exposed to this misleading propaganda. If you know someone whose decision to get a flu shot this year was influenced by this study, please be sure to forward this article to them so they can learn the truth.

More Flaws in the “Flu Shot Prevents Heart Attack” Theory

The main theory of why flu shots may prevent heart attacks in the first place is based on a flawed premise.

An infection with influenza can cause an inflammatory reaction, which may make it more likely for plaque inside your arteries to rupture, leading to a heart attack.

This may be true, but the idea that a flu shot will lessen your chances of becoming infected with a flu virus, and therefore suffering from the inflammatory reaction, is not true because flu shots don’t work.

In one study that looked at the effectiveness of immunizing nursing-home workers to protect the elderly in their care, a review of five influenza studies conducted between 1997 and 2009 revealed there is no good scientific evidence to prove that vaccination campaigns reduce the number of confirmed influenza cases.

Study authors also concluded that there is no good scientific evidence to prove that vaccinating nursing home workers reduces the number of related pneumonia cases, or pneumonia-linked deaths -- which by the way accounts for the vast majority of what the CDC counts as “flu deaths.”

These findings echo previous scientific conclusions, such as the following examples also showing that flu vaccines do not work for ANY age group:

  • A study published in the October 2008 issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu had little or no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons. The researchers concluded that "significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting" examined.
  • A 2008 study published in the Lancet found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people. This also supports an earlier study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
  • Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine also confirms that there has been little to no decrease in deaths from influenza and pneumonia in the elderly, despite the fact that vaccination coverage among the elderly has increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now.
  • In 2007, researchers with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institutes of Health published this conclusion in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, which was highly critical of the quality of influenza studies:

        “We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality, have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits.”

  • A large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, also found that influenza studies are seriously flawed and there is inadequate evidence to demonstrate safety or effectiveness of flu shots. Researchers found little scientific evidence to suggest that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in children under 2. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.

So if a flu shot does not prevent the flu, it clearly cannot claim to offer the benefit of heart attack reduction, even if it were true.

Plus, since inflammation is the risk factor that’s being singled out in increasing heart attack risk, it should be noted that vaccines often trigger inflammatory reactions in your body, including inflammatory bowel disease and brain inflammation.

Flu Shots Can Have Serious Side Effects

The other side of the coin clearly not being presented by the media is that flu shots often result in serious, debilitating side effects.

For instance, the Australian Department of Health and Aging has just confirmed that its main seasonal flu vaccine this year was "causally related" to fever and convulsions in 99 children in 2010.

An analysis by Heath Kelly, head of epidemiology at the state infectious diseases laboratory in Melbourne, further revealed that getting the Fluvax vaccine was actually worse than getting the flu, as the vaccine caused two to three hospital admissions due to convulsions, for every hospital admission the flu prevented.

For many years, flu shots have also been linked to narcolepsy and a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which attacks the lining of your nerves, causing paralysis and inability to breathe, and can be fatal. Europe recently reported that flu shots have been linked to narcolepsy, a neurological sleep disorder.

The very nature of most inactivated flu vaccines, which are injected into your muscles with a needle, is also problematic. Although there are some live virus inhaled flu vaccines, most flu shots introduce lab-altered flu viruses into your body in an unnatural way through a needle.

This is not normal because you are usually exposed to most disease-causing organisms when they enter your body through the mucous membranes of your nose, mouth, pulmonary system or your digestive tract.

These mucous membranes have their own immune system, called the IgA immune system, which fights off invading organisms at the point of entry, reducing or even eliminating the need for activation of your body’s immune system.

A vaccination, however, delivers either live or attenuated (dead) viruses directly into your tissues and bloodstream through injection, completely bypassing your body’s first line of defense. And when combined with an unnatural adjuvant added to flu vaccine, your body’s immune system kicks into high gear in response to the vaccination. If your immune system is too weak to deal with the assault, severe side effects can occur.

You should know, too, that anytime you receive a flu shot, you are being injected with numerous substances above and beyond the flu viruses -- ingredients that are added to vaccines that are associated with known risks to your health. Toxic substances that may be found in various flu vaccines include:

  • Dangerous levels of mercury in the form of thimerosal, a deadly preservative that is 50 times more toxic than regular mercury
  • Formaldehyde – a known cancer-causing agent
  • Neomycin and streptomycin (antibiotics)
  • Polysorbate 80 (Tween80™) – which can cause severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis
  • Phenol (carbolic acid)
  • Resin and gelatin - known to cause allergic reactions
  • Triton X100 (detergent)

So every year that you get a flu shot, you are taking a risk that one or more of these substances, or the flu viruses themselves, will cause a problem in your body.

A Simple Strategy to Reduce Your Risk of Flu and Protect Your Heart

Lining up for your yearly flu shot is virtually useless in protecting you from the flu or a heart attack, but that doesn’t mean you have to go through flu season unprotected.

Flu prevention is actually quite simple, and I strongly believe it begins with optimizing your vitamin D levels, and maintaining those healthy levels year-round.

Take a minute to tune in to the latest studies on vitamin D, which are strengthening the evidence that it is a potent preventive measure against colds and influenza.

There is so much compelling evidence that I believe optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of ALL kinds, including the flu.

As one recent study showed, a group of children taking vitamin D3 was 58 percent less likely to catch influenza A. That's a higher effectiveness than any flu vaccine can claim, and doesn't come with a barrage of potentially devastating side effects!

Most children, teens, adults and elderly in the United States are vitamin D deficient, especially during the winter months when sun exposure is at a minimum for many. So I urge you to get your and your children's vitamin D levels tested, and if found deficient, follow my recommendations for optimizing your levels.

Do this, and you’ll all be far less likely to catch the flu this year. And, as an added bonus, optimizing your vitamin D can significantly lower your chances of dying from heart attack. Researchers have found that people with the lowest average vitamin D levels had a 124 percent greater risk of dying from all causes and a 378 percent greater risk of dying from a heart problem -- so optimizing your levels will keep you out of this risk bracket.

It makes far more sense to use proven natural strategies like this to lessen your risk of the flu and protect your heart in one fell swoop, then roll up your sleeve for a flu shot that is not only typically ineffective, but potentially destructive to your health as well.

My Appeal to You

Don’t sit this one out! We’ve got them “on the run.”

Tell everyone. Tell your friends, your family. With a little bit of effort, you can make significant strides toward preserving your freedom to make voluntary health decisions affecting your and your children’s future.

One of the top goals for the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is preserving your freedom of choice about if and when to use vaccines. As part of that mission, this non-profit charity has been fighting for your right to make informed VOLUNTARY vaccine choices since 1982.

During the upcoming Vaccine Awareness Week, NVIC is launching the online NVIC State Advocacy Portal that will give you the tools you need to take action to protect legal medical, religious and conscientious belief exemptions to vaccination in YOUR state. & NVIC Dedicating November 1-6 Vaccine Awareness Week

In a long-scheduled joint effort to raise public awareness about important vaccination issues during the week of November 1-6, 2010, and NVIC will publish a series of articles and interviews on vaccine topics of interest to newsletter subscribers and NVIC Vaccine E-newsletter readers.

The week-long public awareness program will also raise funds for NVIC, a non-profit charity that has been working for more than two decades to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and protecting informed consent to vaccination.

The November 1-6 Vaccine Awareness Week hosted by and NVIC will follow a month-long vaccine awareness effort in October that was recently announced on Facebook by parents highlighting Gardasil vaccine risks.

The six-week-long focus this fall on vaccine issues will help raise the consciousness of many more Americans, who may be unaware that they can take an active role in helping to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths and defend the legal right to make voluntary vaccination choices.