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Influenza Deaths: The Hype vs. the Evidence

Story at-a-glance -

  • State health department officials are increasingly joining with medical trade association lobbyists in many states to severely restrict or eliminate medical, religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions for all children. In Connecticut and New Jersey, mandates are already in place that force parents to give their six-month-old babies flu vaccine or be banned from daycare
  • The CDC has been telling the public for nearly a decade that an estimated 36,000 people die from influenza in the U.S. every year. This number is grossly inaccurate as it includes not just influenza death cases, but also other respiratory, circulatory, cardiac and pulmonary deaths that potentially might have been associated with influenza
  • A review of Vital Statistics data shows that since 1940, the highest number of influenza deaths recorded in a single year was 21,047 deaths in 1941. In fact, the mortality rate from influenza was not rising in the late 20th century – as the CDC has alleged. It was dropping.
  • There were only between 600 and 750 influenza deaths recorded annually between 1995 and 1997. The most influenza deaths recorded in a single year since 1979 was about 2,900 deaths and that was in 2009, the H1N1 swine flu pandemic year! Yet CDC policymakers, along with drug company and medical trade association lobbyists have continuously been using inflated influenza hospitalization and mortality estimates to justify expanding the influenza vaccine market
  • CDC does not require states to report individual seasonal flu cases or deaths of people older than 18 years of age. The CDC is not collecting the information they need to accurately assess influenza morbidity and mortality in the U.S.

By Barbara Loe Fisher

It's that time of the year again when drug companies, doctors, government officials and media conduct a national advertising campaign to sell flu shots to every American. You can't pass by a pharmacy, enter a supermarket, shop in a "big box" store or catch a plane without seeing the "flu shots for sale" signs trolling for customers.


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