FLU VAX SCHIZOPHRENIA
For several years now the non-injectable form of the flu vaccine, FluMist, has been removed from the market because it was discovered to be less than 5% effective (HERE). Despite this, and despite the significant controversy it stirred, The CDC's ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices), decided to 're-OK' it back in February for the upcoming flu season. Medpage Today (ACIP Reinstates FluMist for 2018-2019 Flu Season) explained why, saying that "the committee was persuaded by new efficacy analyses" for the vaccine. How "efficacious" was it shown to be? As you'll soon see, just as poor as the efficacy touted year-in and year-out for the flu shot in general.
"After a 2-year absence, FluMist is back on the 2018-2019 influenza vaccine schedule, following a vote from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The vaccine was added back to the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program in a 14-0 vote. What changed their minds? CDC research from prior studies of live attenuated influenza vaccine showed that effectiveness of LAIV was 45% against influenza A and B, with 25% protection against influenza A (H1N1)."
As bad as they are, here's what you should know about these numbers --- numbers that are considered to be about the norm for a flu vaccine. An explanation by an epidemiologist of how vaccine efficacy is actually calculated shows that the percentages above appear much better than reality (HERE). For instance, if the vaccine efficacy is 25%, this means that just under 100 people will need to be vaccinated to prevent a single case of flu (see link). But the story gets even weirder. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatricians) disagreed with the CDC, warning against using the FluMist vaccine in their recent piece (Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2017 – 2018) from latest issue of the journal, Pediatrics. Here is what a couple of popular medical news outlets said of the mess, while trying to put a positive spin on the situation.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending children be vaccinated with injectable flu vaccine for the coming season, rather than the nasal spray vaccine FluMist.... That advice puts the AAP’s annual flu vaccine recommendations slightly at odds with those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention... The differing advice from the CDC and the AAP on FluMist could befuddle parents and pediatricians. It has been a rocky few years for FluMist, which once was deemed more effective in children than injectable flu vaccine. But just after ACIP gave FluMist a rare preferential recommendation in 2014, performance problems came into view. By the 2016-2017 flu season, the CDC’s vaccine advisers recommended it not be used in the U.S. ACIP retained that position for the following flu season as well. It wasn’t clear why the vaccine’s performance was so poor in the U.S. during the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 seasons." From Helen Branswell's article for STAT News (Pediatrics Group Encourages Parents to Steer Clear of Popular FluMist in Favor of Shots)
"Recommendations for the 2017-2018 influenza season remain largely unchanged, with FluMist left off the recommended influenza vaccinations for the second year in a row, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP said it continues to support the CDC's recommendation not to use FluMist". From Molly Walker's article for MedPage Today (AAP: Still a 'No' to FluMist for Upcoming Flu Season)
These quotes present so many problems, I barely know where to begin. Firstly, it's fascinating to me how one year the vaccine powerbrokers proudly stated that FluMist was "deemed more effective than injectable vaccine," only one short year later it went from a supposed efficacy of 83% to an efficacy of 3% (see earlier link on FluMist). Secondly, this is doubly confusing because instead of providing a link to the CDC's reapproval of FluMist (HERE), Walker gave us a link to a June 2016 article she wrote, titled ACIP Dumps FluMist for Upcoming Influenza Season. Thirdly, most of what's found in these articles, including the expected be-sure-to-get-your-vaccine propaganda, is moot because the experts have already spoken, predicting this year's flu vaccine is going to be just as ineffective as last year's (HERE).
Just remember, however, that no matter how bad the "BEST EVIDENCE" is for FLU VACCINES, the medical community, with the full backing of their buddies over at big pharma, will continue to pump them to a largely apathetic public. Case in point, a ridiculous article by Dr. Jennifer Variste (she's a pediatrician) that was carried earlier this year on the blog known as Kevin MD (So the Flu Shot is Only 10 Percent Effective. Here Are 5 Reasons to Still Get it).
Although I addressed the absurdity and deception of these statistics in my earlier link to the work of an epidemiologist (at 10% effective, 200 people must be vaccinated to prevent a single case of flu), she definitely got one thing right. "According to CDC studies, on a well-matched year, vaccine effectiveness can range from 40 to 60 percent." So, even though she admitted that the "poorly matched" vaccine that "predominated the entire 2014-2015 season was estimated at 19 percent effective," she failed to mention that this ("poorly matched") is by far the norm. According to research, a "matched" year --- when researchers correctly guess the three strains of flu for making the next year's vaccine --- occurs less than once a decade (about once every 11 years).
I showed you YESTERDAY that you are not going to change the mind of the medical community, even in the face of contrary evidence, as long as they have big pharma behind them (which also happens to be the money behind our GOVERNMENTAL RECOMMENDATIONS & GUIDELINES). If you are truly wanting to stay healthy this influenza season, hopefully avoiding the myriad of flu-like illnesses in the process, there are some simple things you might try (some of which can be found on THIS LIST). Honestly, simply avoiding sugar and junk carbs will make a huge difference (HERE). Oh; be sure to spread the wealth by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).