Here's a summary of a great article by Dr. Brownstein on his research into the statistics behind the annual flu vaccination drive. Bottom line... the data doesn't support the hype. Here's a few tidbits from his article.
- There is not a single good study that shows that the flu vaccine prevents hospitalization and death from the flu.
- The flu vaccine only minimally decreases your chances of getting the flu. When the vaccine is a good match for the currently active staring of influenza, it helps one out of 33 to 100 people in preventing flu. That means 97 to 99% of the people are not protected.
- Flu related deaths as reported by the CDC are overstated because pneumonia and flu deaths are reported together. For example, the CDC reported 56,979 deaths due to flu and pneumonia of which 53,282 were attributed to pneumonia. The flu vaccine has never been shown to prevent pneumonia or its complications.
- 80 to 90% of flu related deaths occur in the elderly, people 65 and older, where the effectiveness of the flu vaccine is much lower. There is not a single good study that shows that the flu vaccine prevents flu or its complications in the elderly.
- While the flu vaccine is touted as safe, it has been associated with many serious adverse effects including narcolepsy and Guillen-Barre syndrome. The flu vaccine contains mercury.
Here's a link to Dr. Brownstein's article including references to the supporting data. Click here.