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Buying into the Hype of This Year's Flu Shot?

Now is the time we start seeing signs littered out front of our local Walgreens and CVS informing us that this year’s flu vaccine is available and it’s imperative to your health to get one.


Just how essential is the shot in protecting you from getting sick though?


On average, about 12 percent of unlucky Americans will get the flu this year forcing some of them to stay home from work or school, eat soup and feel miserable for about a week. [1]

People that are bulldozed the most to get the vaccine are pregnant mothers, old timers (65 and over), and those of you carrying an inhaler (asthmatics). Also on the list are healthcare workers – many of which have no choice in the matter for threat of losing their job.[2]

a quick throw-back

This season’s influenza vaccine manufacturers have projected on producing about 150 million doses. Wowzers.[2]

According to the CDC’s literature, the most powerful tool we have against preventing influenza is to get vaccinated.[3]

Our second choice should be antiviral medication.

Thirdly, covering our mouth and washing our hands.

Whatthefrig?! Hand washing is ranked third even though the safety and efficacy has been proven higher at reducing hospitalization due to the flu versus the vaccine. Plus,  it’s the only one that carries no risk of funky side effects except for, maybe… CLEAN HANDS?!?! [4]

why does a justin beiber pic come up
when i google dirty hands ?

Ya’think the flu vaccine must be pretty effective if it is recommended as the best possible way to prevent us from getting sick.

I’m sure we all know someone that claims that getting the flu shot annually has protected them for years against the ills that come with fearful virus.

Could this be right? Should we seriously consider getting our flu shot?

The majority of research conducted must validate the need not only recommend it, but testify that it is our absolute best way to stay healthy…right?

Couldn’t be further from the truth.

What if you found out that a review of all studies available concerning the influenza vaccine reflected a 1% reduction rate of influenza symptoms?

Hmm – that smells fishy.

I eat you.

Cochrane Review Study of 2010

Goal: The authors of the review attempt to identify, retrieve and asses all studies evaluating the effects of vaccines against influenza in adults 18-65 from 1966 to June 2010.

They also included vaccines of all types – such as attenuated and live vaccines. That’s pretty neat.

92 reports were dismissed for the following reasons: significant errors, inconsistent data, not being randomly controlled, and lack of using a placebo.

Findings: Influenza vaccines administered parenterally (i.e. via injection) have the potential “to reduce the risk of developing influenza symptoms by around 4% (IF the WHO recommendations are adhered to and the match is right”) [5 Pg 11]

Further more, the authors state that symptoms are only part of the total clinical effectiveness and the flu vaccine “reduces the risk of total ‘clinical’ seasonal influenza symptoms by around 1%”. [5 Pg11] 

Should also mention that no evidence was presented in any studies reviewed confirming that getting the flu vaccine will prevent of transmission of the flu virus.

They also report no evidence that the vaccine prevents complications from the flu, such as pneumonia or hospital visits. 

This confirms data reported 5 years ago by the Cochrane Review in which 274 studies were evaluated.
Why is the CDC still continuing to maintain that this vaccine is the best, superiorly effective measure against staying healthy against influenza?!

I don’t get it.

Shoddy Info

Not only that, but the review goes on to say that there are some real shady things going when it comes to reporting data.

Studies that were funded by vaccine manufacturers were more likely to be cited by the media and the CDC while publicly funded studies were much less likely to show positive results when using the vaccine.

"...industry funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies..."
"...there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions..."

But what about children and the elderly?

The Cochrane review of influenza vaccine in children under 2 years of age illustrated no protective effect when compared to a placebo. And when addressing those over 65, those who are more susceptible to complications of the flu, they were unable to demonstrate any effectiveness.
In fact, the authors openly address the CDC in their conclusion, stating:

"The CDC authors clearly do not weight interpretation by
quality of the evidence, but quote anything that supports their theory."

Yikes. That’s ruthless.

I like it.

I urge you to read the 2010 Cochrane Review which is available via PDF to learn more.

Until then, rest easy knowing there are much effective ways to prevent the flu  while also preventing a host of other illnesses and disease, such as: Nutrition, exercise, stress relief, good sleeping habits, avoid smoking and considering adding vitamin D3 supplements to your daily routine.

Here’s to you and your health – without the flu shot!


[1]CBS News Staff. FDA approves new flu vaccine for 2012-2013 season. CBS News. Aug 2012

[2]What You Should Know for the 2012-2013 Influenza Season. CDC Website.  Last Updated Jun 2012

[3]Selecting the Viruses in the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine. CDC Website. Last Updated Mar 2011

[4]Pere Godoy. Jesus Castilla, Miguel Delgado-Rodriguez, Vicente Martin, Nuria Soldevila, Jordi Alonso, Jenaro Astray, Maretva Baricot, Rafael Canton, Ady Castro, Fernando Gonzalez-Candelas, Jose Maria Mayoral, Jose Maria Quintana, Tomas Pumarola, Sonia Tamames, Angela Doninquez. Effectiveness of hand hygiene and provision of information in preventing influenza cases requiring hospitalization. Preventive Medicine. Vol 54. Issue 6; 434-439. June 2012

[5] Jefferson,T O, Di Pietrantonj C, Rivetti A, Bawazeer GA, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2010 (7): CD001269.

Neustaedter R. FLU: Alternative Treatments and Prevention. 2005. North Atlantic Books,
Berkeley, CA.

Rivetti D, Jefferson T, Thomas R, Rudin M, Rivetti A, Di Pietrantonj C, and Demicheli V.. Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 (3): CD004876.

Jefferson T O, Rivetti D, Di Pietrantonj C, Rivetti A, and Demicheli V. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007 (2): CD001269.

Jefferson,T O, Rivetti A, Harnden A, Di Pietrantonj C, and Demicheli V. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008 (2): CD004879.


  1. Very good article, as always. I always debate my mom about this. She says she's old so she's more likely to get flu complication, and I tell that the flu shot doesn't work in those over 65. She still gets it, and gets the flu.
    I'm starting nursing school in January and the flu shot is one of many mandatory vaccines. :( But I plan on detoxing, I bought chlorella, milk thistle and vitamin c.

    1. I know several nurses that file an exemption for their influenza vaccine, they are just required to wear a mask a few months out of the year.

      I would highly recommend researching your options in your state and at your hospital!!


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