MY BROTHER --- DR. KEVIN SCHIERLING --- REVEALS THE STARTLING TRUTH ABOUT THE ANNUAL FLU SHOT
One of the many governmental mandates that BIG PHARMA has managed to push through is that all healthcare workers are required to be vaccinated against the flu. When I say all, I mean everyone from the surgeons, to the nurses, to the office managers, to the security guards, to the custodians. Period. End of story. You don't want vaccinated? Tough. You can either quit or BE FIRED. Why? One reason and one reason only. Because the rate of employee vaccination against flu is one of the increasing number of criteria being tied to the amount of federal tax dollars hospitals and clinics receive --- from your pockets to theirs.
The dirty little secret, however, is that flu shots don't work. They never have. This is not my opinion, it's what the peer-reviewed scientific literature has shown repeatedly and consistently (HERE). Enter Dr. Dan Runde. A couple months ago, writing for Emergency Medicine News, Runde's short article on a slightly different topic, TAMIFLU (Myths in Emergency Medicine: Still Prescribing Oseltamivir? --- HERE) struck a chord with my brother Kevin, himself an ER doc.
Among the things learned from Runde's article are that 60% of the studies on Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) were never published (HERE) --- a phenomenon so common in the biomedical research community it's got it's own name, INVISIBLE & ABANDONED. This common technique allows researchers to hide how pathetically many of their drugs perform simply by not publishing (or never finishing) studies that don't fit the cash-flow requirements of their corporate business model (i.e. they don't work). It's also how I became the world record holder for consecutively made free throws (HERE --- 43,548 in a row). Oh; and as for the efficacy of Tamiflu, even though it brings a proverbial boatload of potential (and rather common) SIDE EFFECTS to the table, it's been shown to shorten the course of the flu by a whopping 9% (about half a day).
Using the same logic as Runde, Dr. Kevin decided to respond with his own letter to the editor, with nearly identical criticisms for the flu vaccine that had been leveled against Tamiflu. Using a number of studies published by COCHRANE --- the gold standard for crunching huge amounts of medical data, analyzing it, and making sense of it --- he sent in his letter, which was published in this month's issue of Emergency Medicine News.
Letter to the Editor: Flu Shot's Abysmal Track Record Akin to Tamiflu's
I applaud Dan Runde, MD, for his article, “Still Prescribing Oseltamivir?” I would thoroughly enjoy a follow-up article possibly entitled, “Still Getting Your Mandatory Flu Shot?” It would cite Cochrane Reviews over the past 10-15 years that have repeatedly shown an abysmal track record for influenza vaccination. The Cochrane data show that flu vaccination for prevention has about the same efficacy as Tamiflu for treatment.
Mandatory flu vaccination has become the standard for health care providers nationwide based mainly on two premises: vaccination of providers protects patients from influenza-infected providers (see Typhoid Mary), and flu vaccination decreases days lost from work. Neither of these statements are supported by any reliable evidence. Cochrane cannot even address the questions surrounding provider vaccination because the only study (yes, singular) is in the nursing home setting.
The most disturbing result of the Cochrane Reviews, however, is how poorly the flu vaccine works for all populations that their reviews have covered over the past 15 years, including healthy adults, the elderly, children, asthmatics, the obese, and pregnant patients (I'm sure I left somebody out). We, as physicians, have once again been convinced that “doing something” is better than doing nothing. I'm embarrassed to say that, just as in the case of Tamiflu, big pharma wins again.
Kevin Schierling, MD
Awesome letter! And for those of you going for the mist because you heard it's better, last year we learned that the reason FLU MIST nasal vaccine was pulled off the market was because it was less than 3% effective for three years running, even though studies in prestigious journals were still touting 83%. The harsh reality is, most of the studies mentioned in Kevin's letter show an efficacy approaching 0% (HERE and HERE are examples). If you think this is an exaggeration, look at the links, or simply read my post TWENTY REASONS A FLU SHOT MIGHT NOT BE IN YOUR BEST INTEREST. The science itself is not only shocking in its content, but shocking in the fact that the evidence is being ignored. There's only one reason this would ever happen. Google the topic and take a look at the incestuous financial relationships between our politicians and BIG PHARMA.
For more information about Flu Vaccinations, including short articles on all of the groups Dr. Kevin mentioned (as well as a few others, including A BRAND NEW ONE from last week), make sure to at least THUMB THE TITLES of my dozens of posts on the subject. And for those who believe that none of this matters --- you know; just shut up and get your flu shot like a good little soldier --- you should probably know who DR. HUGH FUDENBERG was and why his research is just as valid today as it was forty years ago. In fact, in light of the amount of ALZHEIMER'S in this country, even more so.
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