Sharyl Attkisson Reports:
Govt. Researchers: Flu Shots Not Effective in Elderly, After All
An important and definitive “mainstream” government study done nearly a decade ago got little attention because the science came down on the wrong side. It found that after decades and billions of dollars spent promoting flu shots for the elderly, the mass vaccination program did not result in saving lives. In fact, the death rate among the elderly increased substantially.
The authors of the study admitted a bias going into the study. Here was the history as described to me: Public health experts long assumed flu shots were effective in the elderly. But, paradoxically, all the studies done failed to demonstrate a benefit. Instead of considering that they, the experts, could be wrong–instead of believing the scientific data–the public health experts assumed the studies were wrong. After all, flu shots have to work, right?
So the NIH launched an effort to do “the” definitive study that would actually prove, for the first time, once and for all, that flu shots were beneficial to the elderly. The government would gather some of the brightest scientific minds for the research, and adjust for all kinds of factors that could be masking that presumed benefit.
But when they finished, no matter how they crunched the numbers, the data kept telling the same story: flu shots were of no benefit to the elderly. Quite the opposite. The death rate had increased markedly since widespread flu vaccination among older Americans. The scientists finally had to acknowledge that decades of public health thought had been mistaken.
Read the government study that found no flu shot benefit in elderly
Health Impact News, Editor Comments:
Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson revealed this week that the government’s own studies on the effectiveness of the flu vaccine for the elderly show that they are not only not effective in preventing the flu, but that the death rate of those vaccinated increased.
While still a reporter for CBS News, Attkisson tried to interview the lead researcher of a “mainstream” flu vaccination study they assumed would show that the flu vaccine was effective in preventing the seasonal influenza virus. However, the National Institute of Health (NIH) blocked the interview, and Attkisson had to interview the co-authors of the study instead, since they were independent researchers, and not paid by the government. Attkisson writes: “These study authors who were honest, at their own career peril, should be commended.”
While this study was done several years ago, recent data about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine for the elderly is not much better, and this can usually be ascertained simply by reading the package insert for the vaccine. Earlier this year, Dr. Brownstein broke down the data published on last year’s flu shot marketed for seniors. While the manufacturer was selling up the benefits for seniors, the actual study proved just the opposite (See: Dr. Brownstein: New Flu Vaccine Worthless).
Reading the packet insert of the senior flu vaccine from last year reveals some other interesting data: there were 226 “serious” adverse events and 23 deaths out of only 3,833 participants in the drug trials developing the flu vaccine.