FLU SHOTS FOR CHILDREN
ARE THEY EFFECTIVE?
"As for children, Cochrane again found the available studies to be of poor quality." From Margaret McCartney: What Use is Mass flu Vaccination? in the October, 2014 issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ)
It was just a couple of months ago that I revealed to you one of those dirty little secrets of the medical community ---- that Flu Shots, on average, are about 1% effective in the elderly population (HERE). Add to that the fact that when you get said shot in successive years, it's effectiveness drops further still (HERE). It seems they don't work for non-elderly adults either. Numerous meta-analysis on the topic have revealed that serious complications and death from flu are both rare outcomes, even though the CDC has inflated these stats by several magnitudes of order (HERE).
"The results of this review seem to discourage the utilisation of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure. As healthy adults have a low risk of complications due to respiratory disease, the use of the vaccine may be only advised as an individual protection measure against symptoms in specific cases. ......rare outcomes [of flu] such as complications and death."
If you are a parent or grandparent, the fact that flu shots are not effective for adults begs the question of whether or not FLU SHOTS are effective for children since they are universally recommended from cradle to grave. The CDC claims that about 60% of Americans under the age of18 are receiving the vaccine annually. Now ask yourself this; does the CDC have an agenda? Are they to be believed? Can we trust them to do what's best for our children? Listen to what the independently funded Cochrane Review (an extremely mainstream medical research organization) said about the CDC and Flu Research in their Review of Influenza Vaccine Efficacy & Safety Studies... "The CDC authors clearly do not weight interpretation by quality of the evidence, but quote anything that supports their theory."
How special. But then again, we can't be surprised seeing that we already know how corrupt similar organizations such as the FDA are (HERE). But back to the question asked in the title of this post --- are Flu Shots efficacious for children? Not only are they not effective, we've known it beyond the shadow of a doubt for well over a decade. Unfortunately, the medical community treats "EVIDENCE" as a buffet. They get to pick and choose the most convenient tidbits to base public policy on (HERE and HERE are examples of this all-too-common phenomenon). This is how MEDICAL GUIDELINES are thus created. As always, just follow the money trail.
Several Cochrane Reviews on the efficacy of Flu Shots in children have addressed this issue an almost word-for-word fashion over the past decade and a half. Here it is from their latest statement (2012) in its cherry-picked version.
"Little evidence is available for children younger than two years of age. There was a difference between vaccine efficacy and effectiveness, partly due to differing datasets, settings and viral circulation patterns. In specific cases, influenza vaccines were associated with serious harms such as narcolepsy and febrile convulsions. This review includes trials funded by industry.
An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 found industry-funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size. Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favourable to the vaccines. The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies."
Re-read these two paragraphs and let the sheer magnitude of what they are saying wash over you. And as for the evidence for Flu Shots in children older than two years; it shows the vaccine is better than placebo --- but not by much. Listen to how bad things really are. The August, 2012 Cochrane Review (Vaccines for Preventing Influenza in Healthy Children) reviewed dozens of studies involving over 300,000 children, and then crunched the data. The results? "Twenty-eight children over the age of six need to be vaccinated to prevent one case of influenza". For real? Are you joking me? This for a disease they earlier revealed has, "rare complications".
For those who are curious, the Cochrane Review / Cochrane Collaboration is the world's number one producer of systematic reviews of scientific information about health care. It is a non-profit (it's actually a charity) located in England. As such, they are not beholding to industry (chiefly BIG PHARMA). Research and studies done by Cochrane are universally considered the gold standard for determining the effectiveness of the various health care interventions they review (HERE).