FLU VACCINE SUPER-POST
WHY FLU VACCINATIONS ARE "MANDATORY" FOR AMERICA'S HEALTH CARE WORKERS
"Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed. Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas." Joseph Stalin, leader of WWII-era USSR
You'll hear no argument from me that at least on some level, many vaccines work. They help prevent many of the diseases that people --- particularly children --- used to get as a matter of course. For instance, everyone in my era had the chicken pox; it was no big deal. Go back a generation and everyone had PERTUSSIS, measles, MUMPS, etc, etc. Rather than embracing these childhood diseases as the chief way that humans DEVELOP OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS INTO THE POWERHOUSES THEY SHOULD BE, the average person now receives over 100 inoculations by the time they are 18 years old if they get everything recommend. Yet this doesn't even begin to touch on the multiple vaccines they will receive each and every year for the rest of their lives (flu / pneumonia / etc), the periodic "boosters" for those they received as children, or the nearly 300 vaccines that are currently in R&D (HERE and HERE). Of these, none is more controversial than the influenza vaccine.
As any good dictator could tell you, effective propaganda always begins with fear. If the powers that be can make something scary, or even deadly; and then tell you that only they have the power to protect you from said deadly substance, entity, or event, it's easy to see where their power comes from. The annual flu vaccine is the ultimate example of this phenomenon, as every year is PREDICTED TO BE THE WORST FLU SEASON EVER. While there have always been FLU PANDEMICS that killed thousands, or even millions of people, the annual flu was never considered dangerous until our government started propagating the myth of 36,000 - 59,000 annual deaths --- a myth debunked by Dr. Edward Yazbak in his 2006 paper called CALCULATING US INFLUENZA DEATHS, revealing that this figure was exaggerated by 14,000%. It was around this same same time that our government, in cahoots with Big Pharma, began their huge push for mandatory flu vaccinations for all healthcare workers.
Presidential front-runner, HRC, recently gave us a front-row view of what governmental "pay-to-play" policies look like up close and personal. Her thousands of emails revealed that corporations and governments are more than willing to fork over tens; even hundreds of millions of dollars to promote their interests and businesses. The point here is not to pick on Hillary, because the majority of politicians, multinational corporations, and banks are guilty of similar 'indiscretions' (far too kind a word). Today I am going to show you how a vaccine that has virtually no scientific backing, managed to become mandated for the single biggest group of employees in the United States --- the American healthcare worker. But before we delve into this, we need to answer a couple questions.
WHY AREN'T MORE HEALTHCARE WORKERS INTERESTED IN GETTING INOCULATED AGAINST THE FLU?
HAVE HIGHER VACCINATION RATES LED TO BETTER HEALTH?
As you will soon see, the Cochrane Review (the medical community's gold-standard for analyzing medical research) revealed several years ago that the conclusions and action steps that the scientific community were coming up concerning mandated Flu Vaccines did not match the findings of their research. Unfortunately, all that's ever needed for said medical community to jump on whichever bandwagon they wish to jump on (AND NOT THOSE THEY DON'T) are studies. That's because thanks to A MYRIAD OF HIGHLY MANIPULABLE FACTORS, researchers can prove anything they want to depending on how they choose to set up their trial.
For instance, a study published seven years ago this month in Pharmacy & Therapeutics (Mandatory Vaccination of Health Care Workers: Whose Rights Should Come First?) concluded that, "Certainly, health care workers have rights that must be respected. Mandated medical interventions, such as vaccination, should never be imposed capriciously; however, patient contact involves unavoidable risks and special obligations. Patients should have the right to expect that their hospital will take every reasonable precaution to protect them from developing a new disease that they did not have upon admission. With regard to the flu, vaccination is the best way to honor this right." This is quite interesting considering that a huge percentage of those who are admitted to the hospital come out with problems they did not have when they went in (NOSOCOMICAL INFECTIONS / IATROGENIC INJURY) --- which is one of the better kept of the dirty little secrets in the field of medicine ("a significant proportion of hospitalization-associated disability may be induced by iatrogenic events" --- HERE).
Then, in early 2011, a group of researchers from Mayo published a study in the American Journal of Public Health called Vaccinating Health Care Workers Against Influenza: The Ethical and Legal Rationale for a Mandate. The authors stated that, "Despite improvements in clinician education, symptom awareness, and respiratory precautions, influenza vaccination rates for health care workers have remained unacceptably low for more than three decades, adversely affecting patient safety. Mandatory influenza vaccination for health care workers is supported not only by scientific data but also by ethical principles and legal precedent." As you are going to see momentarily, the first part of the last sentence of this quote as it pertains to flu vaccine is abjectly false. As for the previous sentence --- revealing to us that flu vaccination rates have been "unacceptably low" for over 30 years --- aren't you interested as to why?
I know for a fact that in many cases, healthcare workers (both doctors and nurses) are going into the exam room and "vaccinating" (wink wink) each other rather than rocking the boat. However, there are large numbers of nurses that want nothing to do with the flu vaccines (HERE) and are willing, at least on some level, to make some waves. Unfortunately, resisiting is rapidly becoming more than simply labeled an "Anti-Vaxxer". All you have to do is look online at their stories to realize that thousands of such resisters have been fired from their jobs. Which brings us to an issue within this issue. Who is it beyond doctors and nurses that actually make up our nation's healthcare workers?
According to the CDC. "Health care workers include (but are not limited to) physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, technicians, emergency medical service personnel, dental personnel, pharmacists, laboratory personnel, autopsy personnel, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the health-care facility, and persons (e.g., clerical, dietary, housekeeping, laundry, security, maintenance, administrative, billing, and volunteers) not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted to and from health care workers and patients." That's one heck of a lot of people. What percent of them has been vaccinated against flu? Again, according to the CDC, "Early season 2014–15 flu vaccination coverage among health care personnel was 64.3%, similar to early season coverage during the 2013–14 season (62.9%). By occupation, early season flu vaccination coverage was highest among pharmacists (86.7%), nurse practitioners/physician assistants (85.8%), physicians (82.2%), nurses (81.4%), and other clinical professionals (72.0%)". We see that the numbers are increasing, but are far from 100%. Allow me to show you why this increase is extremely misleading.
Firstly, even though the CDC tells us that nearly 20% of the treating staff have declined being vaccinated against flu, stats like these tell us absolutely nothing about what these individuals believe about mandatory flu vaccination. In other words, it's quite likely that many of the people getting these shots don't want the shots. Then why are they getting them? The threat of losing a job can be rather motivational as far as rolling up your sleeve is concerned. We saw a good example of healthcare workers beliefs about this subject two years ago this month with the results of MedPage Today's poll of 5,500 of them (HERE). Fewer than 1 in 5 were for mandatory flu vaccines for healthcare workers, while 56% believed there should be total freedom to choose. Numbers like these are not unique to this poll. Case in point are the 25,000 members of NURSES AGAINST MANDATORY VACCINES. There are also organizations like HEALTHCARE WORKERS AGAINST MANDATORY VACCINATIONS, or numerous large labor unions, INCLUDING THE AMA who are against mandatory flu vaccinations.
Secondly, the stats on the large numbers of healthcare workers who have resisted getting vaccinated against the seasonal flu have been grossly underreported. For instance, an article by Lawrence Solomon from the January 14, 2014 issue of the HuffPo (Why Governments Want Health Care Workers To Stop Resisting Immunization) stated that, "To protect the population at large against diseases, public health authorities generally aim to immunize 90 to 95 per cent of the population. To the dismay of the authorities, however, one segment of the population is surprisingly resistant to getting the flu and other vaccines recommended for them -- doctors, nurses and others working in the health care sector. In the UK, only 46 per cent of health care workers -- slightly less for doctors (45 per cent) and nurses (41 per cent) -- are vaccinated for the flu, despite concerted government efforts according to Public Health England. This startling failure is similar to that seen in Canadian jurisdictions for health care workers today, and those seen in the recent past in the U.S. The [Canadian] government has promised to consider stronger medicine still if inoculation rates, currently at 40% to 50% for doctors, nurses and other health workers, don't improve. According to a Centers for Disease Control Internet survey, when employers remain neutral on vaccinations only 44% of health care workers get vaccinated. That figure rises to 70 per cent when the employer recommends it and 89 per cent when the employer requires [demands or mandates] it." Statistics like these tell us that something is up --- that something big is being hidden from the American public by politicians, Big Pharma, and those actually running the circus within the medical community (the CEO's of large clinics and hospitals).
Logically, this means that one of three things is true about healthcare workers. They are either extremely stupid for not wanting the vaccines, they are extremely lazy for knowing better but failing to have someone at work stick them, or they know something that we don't. The first two points are so absurd that they can be dismissed out of hand. Healthcare workers --- particularly doctors and nurses --- know what the scientific research really says about the benefits of flu vaccinations. There are no benefits. They're worthless. They don't work. Plainly stated, they don't do what they claim' prevent the flu.
When I say that Flu Vaccines have no scientific backing, I'm not telling you the whole truth. There are mountains of evidence out there about the various flu vaccines; virtually all of it proving how absurdly ineffective they really are --- that is, unless the studies were done by industry. That's right folks, even though you are still being told to get your annual flu shot, we've seen through a number of high profile COCHRANE REVIEWS (Cochrane is inarguably the biggest and most reputable organization for analyzing biomedical studies) that today's the flu vaccines are virtually 0% (zero percent) effective when it comes to preventing the flu.
I'm not making that statistic up. The flu shots you have been taking your whole life are a huge scam that uses the American taxpayer to fill the bank accounts of the dirty politicians and pharmaceutical CEO's perpetrating this fraud. Which once more begs the question of how the mandate happened in the first place. How in the world did a vaccine that is, according to the "BEST EVIDENCE" both ineffective and dangerous, wind up being mandated for each and every one of our nation's tens of millions of healthcare workers? You probably won't bat an eye when I tell you that it all came down to MONEY. Before we discuss the money side of this issue, let me show you what the research from Cochrane and others actually showed after crunching the data from hundreds of studies concerning flu vaccinations.
WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH REALLY SAY ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF THE FLU VACCINE?
"Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favorable 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. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding." From the Cochrane Review
"Promotion of influenza vaccines is one of the most visible and aggressive public health policies today. This enormous growth has not been fueled by popular demand but instead by a public health campaign that delivers a straightforward, who-in-their-right-mind-could-possibly-disagree message: influenza is a serious disease, we are all at risk of complications from influenza, the flu shot is virtually risk free, and vaccination saves lives. Yet across the country, mandatory influenza vaccination policies have cropped up, particularly in healthcare facilities, precisely because not everyone wants the vaccination, and compulsion appears the only way to achieve high vaccination rates. Closer examination of influenza vaccine policies shows that although proponents employ the rhetoric of science, the studies underlying the policy are often of low quality, and do not substantiate officials’ claims. The vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated." Dr. Peter Doshi of Johns Hopkins (and Post-Doctorate Fellow at Harvard) from the May 2013 issue of the British Journal of Medicine (Influenza: Marketing Vaccine by Marketing Disease)
"Figures never lie, but liars figure. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics." Mark Twain
- FLU VACCINES FOR THE HEALTHY ELDERLY: We've discussed this one already. However, if you need any more evidence, read THIS POST. It was the World Health Organization (WHO) that said in their Vaccines Against Influeza WHO Position Paper November 2012 that, "the efficacy of TIV [vaccines / shots] to prevent influenza infection in individuals aged 65 years or older is at best modest, irrespective of setting, population and study design." You'll see why this is in a moment.
- FLU VACCINES FOR HEALTHY CHILDREN: I have covered this topic as well (HERE). Suffice it to say that there is virtually no evidence of benefit of flu vaccines for people in either of these first two categories.
- FLU VACCINATIONS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN: Although pregnant women were included in the Cochrane Review that's a major part of the following bullet point for "Healthy Adults," I created my own post on the subject (HERE). Suffice it to say, the evidence is poor as is the efficacy.
- FLU VACCINES FOR HEALTHY ADULTS: This is where the rubber meets the road. Two short years ago, six members of the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group did a meta-analysis of over 100 studies on this topic (Vaccines for Preventing Influenza in Healthy Adults), publishing it in March of 2014. Guess what they concluded? "Vaccination had a modest effect on time off work and had no effect on hospital admissions or complication rates. Inactivated vaccines caused local harms... The preventive effect of parenteral inactivated influenza vaccine [shots] on healthy adults is small: 71 people would need vaccination to prevent one case of influenza. Vaccination shows no appreciable effect on working days lost or hospitalization. The effectiveness of live aerosol vaccines on healthy adults is similar to inactivated vaccines: 46 people would need immunization to avoid one influenza-like illness case." Interestingly enough, few areas of scientific study have a worse track record of manipulating results via INVISIBLE & ABANDONED STUDIES than flu research (for the record, the FLU MIST / ARESOL was taken off the market earlier this year because it was 0% effective for the past three to four years). Cochrane addressed this by saying that, "For the first publication of this review, we wrote to the trial authors and manufacturers to identify possible unpublished studies and missing data. The response was disappointing and we desisted from any further attempts. The main problems with influenza vaccine studies are their poor quality and discrepancies between the data presented, their conclusions and the authors' recommendations." In other words, Big Pharma is burying / hiding / not publishing studies that show their product in a manner they don't like. It's one of the all-time easiest ways to skew results whichever direction you want them to go. Then they make recommendations (GET YOUR FLU SHOT) that have no basis in what their research actually concluded.
- FLU VACCINES FOR HEALTHY ADULTS PART II: This is more from the Cochrane Review that was discussed in the previous bullet. "Influenza vaccines have a very modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost in the general population, including pregnant women." As to why the authors of the studies being reviewed by Cochrane would abandon so much research as discussed in the previous bullet, the answer is crystal clear. "The real impact of biases could not be determined for about 70% of the included studies (e.g. insufficient reporting details, very different scores among the items evaluated). About 20% of the included studies had a high risk of bias. Just under 10% had good methodological quality." The icing on the cake is how effective (or not as the case may be) the various forms of flu vaccines are at preventing the flu. Here it is in real numbers that we can all understand. "The difference between these two values depends on the different incidence of influenza-like illness and confirmed influenza among the study populations: 15.6% of unvaccinated participants versus 9.9% of vaccinated participants developed influenza-like illness symptoms, whilst only 2.4% and 1.1%, respectively, developed laboratory-confirmed influenza." This is important to understand, because influenza-like symptoms are not influenza. In essence this means that out of 100 healthy adults immunized against flu, you will prevent a whopping 1.3 cases.
- FLU VACCINES TO PREVENT CARDIOVASCULAR MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY: Do flu vaccinations prevent cardiovascular diseases? Because cardiovascular disease is so common in our society --- particularly in our elderly population --- the "frail elderly," many who are on their way out with the next infection or illness they happen to get, may see some slight benefit. The question was answered in the May 2015 Cochrane Review called Influenza Vaccines for Preventing Cardiovascular Disease. "The risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes is increased with influenza-like infection, and vaccination against influenza may improve cardiovascular outcomes." "May"? Aren't you interested in seeing what this word really means and how much improvement in outcomes the flu vaccinations might afford the elderly? After reviewing all of the studies on the topic (over 12,000 individuals), the authors determined that, "In patients with cardiovascular disease, influenza vaccination may reduce cardiovascular mortality and combined cardiovascular events. However, studies had some risk of bias, and results were not always consistent. Not enough evidence was available to establish whether influenza vaccination has a role to play in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease." Just remember that "bias" refers to the numerous ways to draw a sample that skews results (HERE are numerous examples how you are being affected by medical study bias on a daily basis).
- FLU VACCINATIONS FOR CHILDREN ON CHEMOTHERAPY: What are vaccine freedom-of-choice people constantly told? We are told that if the general population is vaccinated against the flu, it will save the lives of vulnerable people with an array of chronic illnesses, including CANCER. How true is this? Thanks to still another Cochrane Review of studies published on the subject since 1966 --- this one from August of 2013 --- we now know the answer. "Children with cancer are prone to developing infection. One of the viral infections is influenza (flu). Pediatric oncology patients receiving chemotherapy are able to generate an immune response to the influenza vaccine, but it remains unclear whether this immune response protects them from influenza infection or its complications. On the basis of this updated review, it is not possible to recommend or discourage influenza vaccination in children with cancer who are treated with chemotherapy." Notice the pattern? Healthy individuals of virtually any age or condition don't need flu vaccines because the vaccines don't do what they are touted to do --- prevent the flu. Sick patients, however, might benefit slightly from flu vaccination. But the differences are so minimal and the evidence so poor, that nothing definitive can be determined from the research. Wouldn't it make sense that if the flu vaccine were everything it were touted to be, there would be no question as to its efficacy?
- FLU VACCINATION AND ASTHMA: There is still another group (ASTHMATICS) who are strongly prodded to get their annual flu shot. How well has this worked out? According to a 2013 Cochrane Review (Vaccines for Preventing Influenza in People with Asthma), not like industry had hoped. After looking at numerous studies of thousands of asthmatic children, the authors determined that while it is true that, "Influenza vaccination is recommended for asthmatic patients in many countries as observational studies have shown that influenza infection can be associated with asthma exacerbations," there is much more to the story than initially meets the eye. For many people with asthma, cold and flu viruses trigger their symptoms. Therefore, getting a flu virus makes their asthma worse and having a flu jab (influenza vaccine) may protect people against some of the flu viruses that they will come into contact with in a given winter. However, the effects of a flu jab (vaccination) are not straightforward as there is also the possibility that the flu jab itself could cause a worsening of asthma. A single parallel-group trial, involving 696 children, was able to assess the protective effects of influenza vaccination. There was no significant reduction in the number, duration or severity of influenza-related asthma exacerbations. There was no difference in the forced expiratory volume in one second although children who had been vaccinated had better symptom scores during influenza-positive weeks. There were no significant differences found in exacerbations or measures of lung function following live attenuated cold recombinant vaccine versus placebo in two small studies. There were no significant differences in asthma exacerbations found for the comparison live attenuated vaccine versus trivalent inactivated vaccine in one study on 2229 children. While an overview concluded that there was no clear benefit of influenza vaccination in patients with asthma, this conclusion was not based on a systematic search of the literature." I would argue and say that the search of the literature was rather systematic (almost 50 years worth).
- FLU VACCINATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC DISEASES IN GENERAL: The WHO study quoted from in this section has something to say about flu vaccines for people with "A systematic review in 2011 of studies on vaccine performance among different vaccine target groups found limited good quality evidence of vaccine effectiveness in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and in elderly individuals with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, kidney or liver disease and immune suppression." Trust me; when the WHO uses wording like 'limited good quality evidence,' what they really mean is that the data has either been scrubbed, fudged, or both.
- ANTI-PANDEMIC STOCKPILES OF NEURAMINIDASE INHIBITORS: Thanks to Big Pharma's lobbying efforts (along with the efforts of one DONALD RUMSFELD who was also instrumental in getting ASPARTAME approved after decades of FDA denials), billions of doses of something known as Neuraminidase Inhibitors have been stockpiled by numerous western governments (including ours) against PANDEMIC FLU. If taken immediately before or immediately after exposure to Influenza A or B, these drugs have been shown to shorten the life of the disease by as much as half a day (cost of treatment is between $100 and $200 for a course). I wrote a post on this very topic almost three years ago (THE SORDID STORY OF TAMIFLU). In April of 2014, a Cochrane Review by a dozen researchers concluded that fraud in the form of INVISIBLE & ABANDONED STUDIES was so rampant in the flu vaccine industry that nothing in this area of study could be trusted. "Inadequate reporting put most of the zanamivir studies and half of the oseltamivir studies at a high risk of selection bias. There were inadequate measures in place to protect 11 studies of oseltamivir from performance bias due to non-identical presentation of placebo. Attrition bias was high across the oseltamivir studies and there was also evidence of selective reporting for both the zanamivir and oseltamivir studies (in excess of 160,000 pages [of withheld results]). The placebo interventions in both sets of trials may have contained active substances." As you can see, the system was rigged from the beginning --- seriously rigged. "For the treatment of adults, oseltamivir reduced the time to first alleviation of symptoms from 7 to 6.3 days. Zanamivir reduced the time to first alleviation of symptoms in adults by .6 days. The effect in children was not significant. Treatment of adults with oseltamivir had no significant effect on hospitalisations. There was also no significant effect in children or in prophylaxis. Oseltamivir in the treatment of adults increased the risk of nausea and vomiting. The use of oseltamivir increases the risk of adverse effects, such as nausea, vomiting, psychiatric effects and renal events in adults and vomiting in children. We came to the conclusion that there were substantial problems with the design, conduct, reporting and availability of information from many of the trials. The influenza virus-specific mechanism of action proposed by the producers does not fit the clinical evidence. "
- GETTING THE RIGHT VIRAL MATCH IS NIGH IMPOSSIBLE: Back in February, Scientific American published an article called How Are Seasonal Flu Vaccines Made? "Scientists at five main centers meet in February to analyze data to identify new flu strains and to determine which strains of the virus are most likely to spread and cause illness in the upcoming flu season." Considering our local weatherman can't even tell us if it's going to rain tomorrow, how in the world do the experts hope to guess next year's flu strain? Plainly stated; they're not. According to the sources I've seen, vaccination 'experts' guess the three correct strains of flu virus for next year's vaccine about 9% of the time, or for posterity's sake, once a decade. However, this is probably a moot point because in similar fashion to what we see with the common cold, vaccines won't work anyway because the virus is constantly mutating. Mayo Clinic (Influenza: Symptoms and Causes) heartily agrees with this assessment. "Influenza viruses are constantly changing, with new strains appearing regularly." According to the WHO paper I quoted from a few bullets above, "When the vaccine strains closely match the circulating influenza viruses, efficacy rates in individuals younger than 65 years of age typically range from 70% to 90%." However...... Even if this were true, 90% efficacy once a decade, when averaged out with the 1.3% as stated by Cochrane, comes out to an annual effectiveness of less than 10%.
- DOES ANY OF IT EVEN MATTER ANYWAY --- ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A HEALTHCARE WORKER? How ridiculous are mandatory flu vaccinations for healthcare workers when visitors and patients from the general public freely roam the halls, moving in and out of patient rooms, through the cafeteria, up and down elevators, and throughout the facility anyway? But to top it all off, Cochrane did one more review you might be interested in. Just a few short months ago (June of 2016) Cochrane answered this question by way of a meta-analysis of data from 1966 through 2015 concerning almost 14,000 individuals, and published in a study called Influenza Vaccination for Healthcare Workers Who Care for People Aged 60 or Older Living in Long-Term Care Institutions. "Because the signs and symptoms of influenza are similar to those of many other respiratory illnesses, it is important in studies testing the effects of influenza vaccination to prove by laboratory tests, which are highly accurate, whether residents actually have flu or another illness. Our review findings have not identified occlusive evidence of benefit of health care worker vaccination programs in specific outcomes of laboratory-proven influenza, it's complications (hospitalization or death) or all cause mortality."
- WHAT DOES THE CDC ITSELF SAY ABOUT FLU VACCINATIONS FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS? Back in the later portion of 2013, five researchers working for the CDC published a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases called Effect of Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Personnel on Morbidity and Mortality Among Patients. "We identified studies conducted in long-term care or hospital settings. Pooled estimates for all-cause hospitalization and laboratory-confirmed influenza were not statistically significant. The quality of the evidence for the effect of health care provider vaccination on mortality and influenza cases in patients was moderate and low, respectively. The evidence quality for the effect of health care provider vaccination on patient hospitalization was low." In other words, according to the CDC itself, having healthcare workers vaccinated against the flu, did not drop confirmed rates of flu in a statistically significant manner. However, in response to the fact that this study claimed that flu vaccines dropped the flu's death rate by almost a third, Cochrane added the studies to their meta-analysis, reworked their data, and came to the same conclusions they came to previously (see above).
Knowing how pathetically, absurdly, and utterly ineffective the flu vaccines are for preventing flu in anyone but possibly the sickest segments of our society (which is itself highly debatable), how is it that this vaccine became a mandate in the first place --- an issue force-fed to the American public as part of Obama Care? What you are learning today should make your blood boil. I promise that WHEN YOU LEARN THE REAL COSTS associated with being blackballed into receiving annual flu shots (THAT IS, IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR JOB), you'll be even madder.
As I mentioned earlier, the whole "forced-flu-shots" (Flu Vaccination Mandate) was part of Obamacare, otherwise known by its oxymoronical government name, the Affordable Care Act or ACA. It is also written into CMS (Medicare and Medicaid). If you remember, it was Nancy Pelosi who so famously said of the ACA, "We'll have to pass the bill so that you can uh find out what is in it...." It doesn't matter which side of the political aisle you cast your lot with, this legislation continues to be a true bureaucratic monstrosity. 2,700 pages long to begin with, with the rules and regulations surrounding and supporting it already over 20,000 pages and counting (it's a seven and a half foot tall stack of paper coming in at over 12,000,000 words). One of the many surprises found in the deep dark recesses of the ACA was the Flu Vaccination Mandate.
A number of years ago, the government decided that it was necessary to make cuts to CMS's (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) payments to physicians, hospitals, or clinics, that did not meet certain criteria as set forth in the ACA. These reimbursement reductions were used to fund the ACA's value-based incentive program. In other words, the entities that managed to meet or exceed the criteria demanded by the ACA would get extra money. As of a month from now (the beginning of 2017) this percentage is up to 2% of CMS collections. While 2% might not sound like a lot, in a hospital system that collects tens, or even hundreds of millions of dollars annually from CMS, 2% could add up to some serious jack.
Some might argue that the criteria for earning incentives as set forth by Obamacare are necessary and helpful. Those in healthcare will tell you otherwise --- that most of the new rules (HERE'S ONE EXAMPLE and HERE'S ANOTHER) do virtually nothing as far as bettering patient care, while adding immense amounts of time, expense, and regulatory burden to a system already bursting at the seams with all three. Starting in 2013, healthcare's "Santa Claus" (CMS's Inpatient Prospective Payment System ---- the organization that determines whether or not your clinic or hospital has been naughty (not meeting criteria) or nice (meeting criteria)), required such entities to submit data / statistics on the rate of employee flu vaccination. To get those extra goodies in the form of your tax dollars, hospitals and clinics must have a 90% rate of employee vaccination against the flu.
These "quality measures" were not tied to money at first. But starting in 2015, a failure to meet vaccination mandates meant that your clinic or hospital was not going to get their bonus (the percentage of vaccinated employees needed to qualify was significantly less than 90% then). Needless to say, the healthcare entities that had not been firing employees that failed to toe the line and get vaccinated against the flu, began doing so in wholesale fashion (HERE is an example of someone I personally know). As you are seeing, this is a money issue. Speaking of money........
SELLING OUT FOR COLD, HARD, CASH
Because it is both concise and short; if you want to read about the history of the flu vaccination, I would suggest you read the piece in WebMD's Medscape Pediatrics called Flu Vaccines for All: A Critical Look at the Evidence (HERE). Rather than being written by a crackpot like myself, it was put together by a couple of Pediatricians (Dr. Eric Biondi and Dr. Andrew Aligne), the later of whom has a masters degree in public health.
BIG PHARMA IS MAKING MONEY HAND-OVER-FIST
WHEN IT COMES TO SEASONAL FLU VACCINATIONS
"Three big drug makers announced deals Monday that give them rights to new flu vaccines. The deals reflect the growing conviction among pharmaceutical executives that vaccines against a variety of maladies will become an increasingly important source of growth. Vaccine sales are growing faster than sales of other prescription medicines.... Moreover, government agencies both in the U.S. and around the world are increasingly reliable buyers of vaccines as they seek to stockpile medicines that could help protect the public in case of a major flu outbreak. Flu vaccines typically average $10 to $20 a dose. Despite their low price, analysts say companies like them because they provide a steady source of revenue." From Rockoff and Loftus' 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. Drug Companies Chase Vaccines
"Even if a small portion of everything that's going on now is successful in the next 10 years, you put that together with the last 10 years (and) it's going to be characterized as a golden era," says Emilio Emini, Pfizer Inc.'s head of vaccine research. While prescription drug sales are forecast to rise by a third in five years, vaccine sales should double, from $19 billion last year to $39 billion in 2013, according to market research firm Kalorama Information. That's five times the $8 billion in vaccine sales in 2004. What was essentially 25 years ago a rounding error now has become real money. Vaccines are now perhaps seen to be more attractive than drugs. For flu shot makers, U.S. guidelines have steadily widened to include 83 percent of Americans. Use has jumped from 20 million doses in 1990 to 113 million last year." From the AP's November 2009 article, Vaccines Market Gives Pharmaceutical Industry a Boost
"The business of vaccines is soon to become a major source of profits for the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations. A press release published by marketwatch.com says that Technavio, one of the leading technology research and advisory companies in the world predicts that pharmaceutical corporations who produce vaccines will reach an estimated $61 billion in profits by 2020.... In terms of geography, the Americas dominated the global human vaccines market in 2015, accounting for about 45% of the total revenue. The US was the largest revenue contributor to this region in the same year, capturing a significant portion of the global market." Timothy Alexander Guzman from a 2013 article published in Global Research (Big Pharma and Big Profits: The Multibillion Dollar Vaccine Market)
"In rich countries, growth relies on either finding more diseases to immunise against, or widening the reach of existing products. With children already extensively vaccinated in the developed world, much of the industry’s focus has turned to older age groups. The complexity of vaccines, and the fact they are given to healthy individuals rather than to treat the sick, makes quality and reliability especially challenging." From Andrew Ward's April 2016 article in the Financial Times called Vaccines Are Among Big Pharma’s Best-Selling Products.
"Several pharmaceutical companies made a conscious decision to chase and develop the vaccines market towards the end of the last decade, as it became clear that the traditional blockbuster drug treatment model for the industry was changing. Vaccines were seen as promising from a business perspective because they could be applied to huge swathes of the population, and because the economic case for payment could be made to governments. Chris Viehbacher, chief executive of Sanofi, explained part of the appeal of vaccines earlier this year. 'The nature of vaccines is such that generally you have a better feeling for the success of a vaccine than you do for a new drug. Even at an average price level you get to some pretty significant sales.' You can charge much more in the U.S. for a flu jab, so the U.S. will always be prioritized." Catherine Boyle from an October 2013 edition of CNBC (Achoo! Who’s Making Money Out of Flu Season?)
"The CDC now suggests that nearly everyone older than 6 months get an annual flu shot, once reserved for the elderly and high-risk populations. An estimated 42 percent of Americans, or 132 million people, received flu shots in 2011, up from 25 percent in 2000 and 11 percent in 1990. That growth has generated traffic not just for traditional providers such as physicians and hospitals, but for relative newcomers such as drug stores and other retailers. Physicians' offices, hospitals and other medical clinics account for about 60 percent. Workplace programs make up the rest. 'Everyone makes something on the immunizations,' said Dr. Joel Shalowitz, director of the health-industry management program at Northwestern University." From Adam Smeltz October 2012 article at Trib Live (Flu Shot Boom a Boon for Many, as Industry Continues to Grow)
"Many critics within industry, however, lay the biggest share of blame at the feet of the U.S. government, which is America’s primary purchaser of vaccines—the result of Congress’s 1993 creation of the Vaccines for Children program. Under this program, which was established to improve vaccination rates among the poor." From Johns Hopkins Public Health (Weakened Defenses). "In 2011, the US Federal government awarded 6 pharmaceutical corporations over 5.7 Billion to manufacture children’s vaccines alone. According to information on the Centers for Disease Control and Federal Business Opportunities websites, the contracts were for the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. What is really happening is the US Federal government has given the corporations a guaranteed paycheck through the contracts. It makes perfect sense why the federal health agencies would keep demanding more vaccinations – they get more money! Take the example of the former head of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Julie Gerberding. She helped promote the highly controversial GARDASIL VACCINE while she served in her government post. After she finished working for the CDC, she was made President of the Vaccine Division for Merck Pharmaceuticals." From Vaccine Truth's Who Says There is No Money in Making Vaccines? At Least $5.7 Billion Given to Vaccine Manufacturers in 2011 by US Government
"Big money has fueled the exponential expansion of CDC’s vaccine schedule since 1988, when Congress’ grant of immunity from lawsuits suddenly transformed vaccines into pay dirt. CDC recommended five pediatric vaccines when I was a boy in 1954. Today’s children cannot attend school without at least 56 doses of 14 vaccines by the time they’re 18. An insatiable pharmaceutical industry has 271 new vaccines under development in CDC’s bureaucratic pipeline in hopes of boosting vaccine revenues to $100 billion by 2025. Vaccine industry money has neutralized virtually all of the checks and balances that once stood between a rapacious pharmaceutical industry and our children. With the research, regulatory and policymaking agencies captured, the courts closed to the public, the lawyers disarmed, the politicians on retainer and the media subverted, there is no one left to stand between a greedy industry and vulnerable children except parents." Robert F Kennedy Jr (a vaccination proponent) From a July 2015 issue of World News Daily (Vaccines, Government & Big Pharma's Dirty Money)
Don't let anyone fool you --- there's big money in vaccines. Really big money. Because of this, industry has hard-lobbied congress to have increasing numbers of vaccines mandated for both children and adults. Under the mantle of Obamacare, back in February of 2015 HHS revealed it's newest plan at a meeting of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee --- the National Adult Immunization Plan. It's goal being to enlist businesses, corporations, churches, THE MEDIA, non-profits, and a whole host of others to push the American public toward universal vaccination. What vaccines would be required? Whatever the government deems appropriate. The cherry on top was that healthcare facilities would be offered "incentives" (can anyone say BRIBES?) to rat out those who didn't follow along so they could be entered into state and federal databases --- databases that are already in existence and awaiting legislative stamps of approval to go live. This program was designed specifically to curb PEOPLE'S ABILITY TO OPT OUT.
Other than the fact that the various flu vaccines are worthless as far as protecting the general population from contracting flu, why would anyone want to opt out? There's really only one reason. If the government and BIG PHARMA have been lying about flu vaccine efficacy for so long, why would anyone in their right mind believe they are telling the truth about flu vaccine safety?
ARE THE FLU VACCINES AS SAFE AS
WE HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE?
"Thimerosal is 50% ethylmercury, which is far more toxic and persistent in the brain than the highly regulated methylmercury in fish. Hundreds of peer reviewed studies by leading government and university scientists show that thimerosal is a devastating brain poison linked to neurological disorders now epidemic in American children. Although Thompson’s CDC and vaccine industry colleagues have created nine patently fraudulent and thoroughly discredited epidemiological studies to defend thimerosal, no published study shows thimerosal to be safe. The common canard that US autism rates rose after drug makers removed most thimerosal from pediatric vaccines in 2003 is wrong. That same year, CDC added flu shots containing massive doses of thimerosal to the pediatric schedule. As a result, children today can get nearly as much mercury exposure as children did from all pediatric vaccines combined in the decade prior to 2003." Robert F. Kennedy Jr from his internet article, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, The Truth About Vaccine Science
Whether or not Offit had ulterior financial motives when he sat on the CDC's advisory committee, while voting to add his vaccine to the government-mandated schedule, is not the issue. Financial conflict of interest doesn't mean that Offit actually did anything wrong (although many would argue vehemently he did). A conflict of interest is simply the appearance of wrong-doing. FCOI's are to be avoided because they put you in positions or situations where the system can be gamed for gain. For the record, Offit received an up-front percentage of 182 million dollars said to be in the 30 to 55 million range, plus annual royalties estimated themselves to be in the millions.
I bring up Offit only because he is arguably America's number one spokesperson for our government's forced-vaccine policies, as well as the fact that his story shows the absurd level of financial conflict of interest in this area. But the conflicts don't stop there. The truth is, it can be difficult to find individuals or organizations in this arena who aren't collecting significant amounts of money from the medical / pharmaceutical industry, including the American Academy of Pediatrics. But CORRUPTION AMONG THOSE CREATING MEDICAL STANDARDS OF CARE is barely the tip of the iceberg. An even bigger factor in skewing the studies on flu vaccine safety has to do with something called "underreporting".
I already showed you how Invisible & Abandoned studies skew the evidence whichever direction researchers want it skewed. But in order to truly grasp this issue of flu vaccine safety and side effects, you must first understand what underreporting is. UNDERREPORTING THE SIDE EFFECTS AND ADVERSE EVENTS associated with medicine (including vaccines) and procedures is arguably the number one way that the medical community gets their products to look far better on paper than they actually perform in reality (HERE). The difference is frequently huge.
We already know that only about one percent of all side effects and adverse events are ever reported to the proper authorities (see links above). With vaccines, this number is actually worse. Why? Think about it this way; if you were a college professor or student at any of America's major universities, what are the very worst things someone could accuse you of in today's "diverse" multicultural, politically-correct, gender-free, environment? How about a racist? A bigot? A homophobe? Or God forbid, a hater. You get the point. Now imagine that you are a treating-physician in our current "Death to Antivaxxers" environment. What's the worst thing you could possibly do or be accused of? How about rocking the boat by reporting to VAERS? What is VAERS you ask? We'll get there momentarily, but first let me show you how the flu shots actually cause flu in the form of something known as flu-like illnesses.
According to the CDC's website (Flu Vaccine Safety Information) the, "common side effects from the flu shot include soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot, headache, fever, nausea, muscle aches." Wait a minute! Is this a perfect description of the flu or am I imagining things? In the immortal words of the heavy-set king from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, who stated while eating a carrot, 'if I didn't know better, I'd swear this were HASENPFEFFER'. It does, however, help to explain why, while experts will tell anyone who bothers to listen that it's impossible to get the flu from a flu shot, they can and frequently do cause flu-like symptoms. The only difference between the two as far as the symptoms go? There is none. (SIDE NOTE: If your "flu" involves vomiting and diarrhea, you don't have the flu, you have gastroenteritis, which is commonly called "flu" by the American public)
- "Symptoms of flu include sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough. Most flu symptoms gradually improve over two to five days....." From Cold or Flu Symptoms from WebMD
- "TIV [flu] vaccines are generally considered safe although transient local reactions at the injection site occur frequently.... fever, malaise, myalgia, and other systemic adverse events. In a study of 791 healthy children aged 1–15 years, post-vaccination fever was noted in 12% of those aged 1–5 years." From the WHO's 2012 Position Paper on the flu
- "Influenza-like illness (ILI) is a medical diagnosis of possible influenza or other illness causing a set of common symptoms. Symptoms commonly include fever, shivering, chills, malaise, dry cough, loss of appetite, body aches, and nausea, typically in connection with a sudden onset of illness. In most cases, the symptoms are relatively non-specific. Most cases of ILI are caused not by influenza but by other viruses. Common causes of ILI include the common cold and influenza. Less-common causes include side effects of many drugs and manifestations of many other diseases. Technically, any clinical diagnosis of influenza is a diagnosis of ILI, not of influenza. This distinction usually is of no great concern because, regardless of cause, most cases of ILI are mild and self-limiting. Furthermore, most cases of ILI are not due to influenza. ILI is very common: in the United States each adult can average 1–3 episodes per year and each child can average 3–6 episodes per year." From that bastion of truth and infallibility, Wikipedia (Influenza-Like Illness), trying with all their might to sort this one out. Think they're confused? They're not alone.
And other than listing the symptoms of an allergic reaction to the eggs the vaccine is grown in (the reason that people with egg allergies should never have a flu shot), the only other side effect even mentioned in the CDC article was Guillain Barre Syndrome, which they claimed to be something like one in a million. But is catching the flu really the worst that can happen as a side effect of taking a flu shot? And if so, other than all the previous lies that the pharmaceutical industry has fed us, what could possibly make so many people gun-shy when it comes to the flu shot? How about the research itself?
As for VAERS, a study from last year's April issue of the Journal of Pediatrics called Adverse Events Following Haemophilus Influenzae Type B Vaccines in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, 1990-2013 helped shed some light on this issue. The purpose of this study was, "To characterize adverse events (AEs) after Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines reported to the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS received 29,747 reports after Hib vaccines; 5179 (17%) which were serious, including 896 reports of deaths. Median age was 6 months (range 0-22 months). Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) was the stated cause of death in 384 (51%) of 749 death reports with autopsy/death certificate records. The most common nondeath serious adverse event categories were neurologic (80; 37%), and gastrointestinal (39; 18%) conditions. Review of VAERS reports did not identify any new or unexpected safety concerns for Hib vaccines." 900 people died and who knows how many had serious --- probably irreversible --- neurological damage? But nothing new or unexpected was found; just business as usual. BTW, Flu and HIB are different entities, the point here is to show you how the system works.
Part of the problem is that according to some experts (HERE is an example), the rate of reporting side effects / adverse events to VAERS is significantly worse than the rate of reporting drug reactions in general, which I already showed you was an almost unbelievable 1%. This is because according to some of the research that I've seen, only 1 in 40 doctors has ever reported to VAERS to begin with. Beyond that, all vaccines intentionally contain aluminum (HERE), and most, including the flu shot, intentionally contain mercury (HERE) --- incredibly neurotoxic elements, which are intimately associated with PARKINSON'S, ALZHEIMER'S and numerous other common neurological problems, including (gulp) AUTISM. If you are interested in getting a better and more accurate idea of the serious side effects of flu shots, I would suggest you visit any number of online message boards. Dig into the comments, posts, and discussion threads, and you'll be shocked to learn what healthcare providers are actually saying about flu vaccinations --- almost universally anonymously of course.
What do I recommend that you do to prevent the flu? Nothing really; beyond staying healthy and washing hands regularly. For those of you having trouble in the "staying healthy" department, HERE is a generic protocol with a huge emphasis on GUT HEALTH. But if you think flu shots are wonderful, great. I'm a freedom-of-choice kind of guy. HAVE AT IT! However, in light of the preponderance of peer-reviewed evidence, the American people --- most particularly it's millions upon millions of healthcare workers --- need to seen by Big Pharma as more than walking, talking dollar signs. Commodities. A simple way way for them to sell millions more doses of their products year after year after year after year --- even though we've seen that research says consecutive years of flu shots diminishes their already crappy effectiveness (HERE).
Rather shocking isn't it -- the fact that flu vaccinations are in no way contributing to a healthier America. Feel free to share it. In fact, If you have family, friends, loved ones, children, grandchildren, etc, this information is crying out to be shared! The easiest way to accomplish this? FACEBOOK of course. HERE are all my posts on Flu Vaccinations.