More Flu Vaccine Cockamamie
More Flu Vaccine Cockamamie
By Dr. Brownstein M.D.
Researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (August 14, 2014) that a high dose flu vaccine was more effective than the standard flu vaccine for seniors. The vaccine is called Fluzone High Dose vaccine. Of course, the media jumped on this report. In the Healthday article, the chief medical office for Sanofi-Pasteur—the Big Pharma company who funded the study—stated, “The study demonstrated a 24 percent reduction in influenza illness among the participants who received the high-dose vaccine compared to those who received the standard dose.”
To date, no flu vaccine has shown any significant efficacy in seniors. A 24 percent reduction in influenza illness in seniors would certainly be something to celebrate.
Here are the results: 31,989 participants were enrolled form 126 research centers in the U.S. and Canada. Half were given the standard flu vaccine and half given the high dose vaccine.
1.4% of the seniors who received the high dose vaccine became ill with the flu and 1.9% of the seniors who received the standard flu vaccine developed the flu. (I hope you are not laughing as I did when I read that.)
How in the world did they report a 24% lowered incidence of the flu with the use of the high-dose vaccine?
Simply dividing 1.4% by 1.9% gives the relative risk reduction of 24%. ?????
However, this is a relative risk reduction—a useless number to use when deciding whether a therapy is good for any patient. A better analysis of this data involves calculating the absolute risk. The absolute risk, according the New England Journal of Medicine, is better to use when deciding whether a particular therapy is warranted for an individual patient. The absolute risk is the difference between the treated and untreated group.
What is the absolute risk difference in this study? 1.9 percent minus 1.4 percent which equals 0.5 percent or 0.005. That means that, according to this study, 200 seniors (1/.005) would have to be vaccinated with the high-dose flu vaccine to prevent one case of the flu. Here’s my interpretation of this study: This study shows that the high dose flu vaccine is a colossal failure as the results indicate that 99.5 percent of seniors who get this vaccine will not receive any benefit.
So, 200 seniors must receive a vaccine to prevent one case of the flu. What is the cost of that? I called my local CVS and was told that the cost of the flu vaccine was $32.00/dose. Multiplying the numbers reveals that it costs $6,400 dollars to vaccinate all those people.
What a waste of money. That amount of money could buy a lot of vitamin C which would not only help the immune system but also provide the body with an essential nutrient.
What is the take-away? Just say “no” to the flu vaccine. Folks, don’t be fooled here. This study was another failed flu vaccine study. The flu vaccine has never been shown to protect the elderly from getting the flu, dying from the flu, or developing complications from the flu. The elderly would be better served by eating a better diet, maintaining hydration and taking vitamin C.
Wow how crazy is that article!
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