I’m not a big fan of vaccines as a means of preventative healthcare. I know that goes against the advice of the majority of doctors in America today, but I’m not alone in my convictions. More and more people are becoming skeptical of vaccines, especially as more and more chronic illnesses become rampant in our society. I believe that vaccines can work, but I also believe that those results come at a price, and I believe we are still learning how high that price is.
In the past decade, the yearly flu vaccine has become widely promoted and widely available – and widely insisted as to its benefit. Of all the vaccines, I think this one is near the top of the list for being unnecessary and not working well, and since the long-term effects are unknown (because it’s not been around that long, and because its formula changes every year), it’s also quite risky.
Recently, a study was published that agrees with me. The Cochrane Institute is an international network of people helping healthcare providers, policy makers, patients, and their advocates make well-informed decisions about human health care. They work together to find the best evidence-based health care practices, thereby enabling patients and providers to make well-informed decisions. You can read more about The Cochrane Institute here. Yesterday, December 10, the Cochrane Institute released a collaborative study about the flu vaccine, and the results go against everything that most doctors and pharmacists would have you believe. For an easier-to-read review of the article titled, “No Value in Any Influenza Vaccine,” click here.
In short, the study found:
… no evidence of benefit for influenza vaccinations and also noted that the vast majority of trials were inadequate. The authors stated that the only ones showing benefit were industry-funded. They also pointed out that the industry-funded studies were more likely to be published in the most prestigious journals…and one more thing: They found cases of severe harm caused by the vaccines, in spite of inadequate reporting of adverse effects.
The study, “Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults”, is damning of the entire pharmaceutical industry and its minions, the drug testing industry and the medical system that relies on them.
At the end of the study, they conclude the following:
The results of this review seem to discourage the utilisation of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure. As healthy adults have a low risk of complications due to respiratory disease, the use of the vaccine may be only advised as an individual protection measure against symptoms in specific cases.
They authors also wrote that:
This review includes 15 out of 36 trials funded by industry (four had no funding declaration). An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 found industry funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size. 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.
This article is especially interesting, considering that there have been numerous news stories about hospitals forcing their employees to get the flu vaccine, threatening to suspend their pay if they don’t get their shot.
So, if, like me, you don’t want to get the flu vaccine, but you still want to stay healthy this winter, your best bets are to:
- get enough sleep
- wash your hands
- eat a diet rich in whole foods and low in processed foods
- up your vitamin D intake (fish oils are a good source of this)
- take a multivitamin
That’s what we’re doing in our family. At least once a day, all four of us take a multivitamin, fish oil (even the girls!), and probiotics, which strengthen the digestive tract, and a healthy digestive tract is critical to good immune function. Amazingly, we haven’t been sick for months! Let’s hope this good trend continues.