Controversy Over Flu Vaccines: Boon or Boondoggle

By R.S. Bailey

Influenza is serious business, in a variety of ways.  When I was a kid in 1957, I fell victim to the “Asiatic flu” and nearly died.  My fever topped out at 106 and I’ll never forget the delirium and hallucinations I experienced.  To this day, I remember the exact moment the fever broke.  The only treatment the doctor could recommend was aspirin and cold compresses.  If there had been an effective flu vaccine to spare me what I went through, I would have been glad to have had it.

 The viral strain that infected me was apparently related to the strain that went around last winter.  If I hadn’t had the flu all those years ago, I wouldn’t have the antibodies that prevented me from getting it again.  That’s one problem with flu vaccines.  They provide no permanent antibodies in an individual’s immune system.  You have to keep taking them.  Year after year after year. 

 Large pharmaceutical companies know this.  Each year a survey is taken in China to identify which strains of influenza virus are moving west.  Pharmaceutical companies then prepare vaccines to combat the three most likely strains to reach us.  They prepare and market these vaccines but are often wrong in their guesses.  This does not stop them from selling what they’ve prepared.

 Billions of dollars are spent purchasing these preparations.  Several millions of dollars are spent lobbying Congress to make sure Medicare and Medicaid pay for them.  They typically sell for somewhere between $20 and $30 a dose.  This year you can buy your dose at the pharmacy in your local supermarket or any drug store like Rite-Aid, CVS or Walgreens.   Recently the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships sponsored an invitation only call to promote people taking the flu shot.  For some reason the call was meant to be “off the record and not for press purposes.”

  Mercola.com, the world’s most popular health and nutrition website claims that the pharmaceutical industry is only right in guessing the correct viral strain 10% of the time.  Dr. Mercola also points out that that there seems to be outright fraud and fear mongering such as the bird flu scare.  Billions of dollars in sales of flu treatments were sold worldwide for what turned out to be 200 cases of avian flu.  Those cases were from direct contact with infected birds.  The fear that it would become airborne never occurred

 On Oct. 26, the British medical journal The Lancet published a study on the efficacy of flu vaccines.  Among the conclusions was that vaccines were deemed to be only 56% effective.  This is based on the fact that 02.7% of people not vaccinated got the flu and that only 01.2% of those vaccinated did.  Apparently there was no control group which received a placebo.  This basically means that 01.5% of the population is prevented from getting the flu by taking the vaccine.  So be cautious about believing that if you don’t get a flu shot you will become a carrier and infect other people.  There is only a 01.5 % chance that can happen.  Be aware that another element of the conclusion stated, “Evidence for protection in adults aged 65 years or older is lacking.” 

 Flu vaccines were sold to about 45% of the population last year and the over 65 market, which is largely covered by Medicare, was a high priority target.  The government and the pharmaceutical companies are trying to up that percentage with an even stronger push to get more penetration of the 65 and older market

 But there is hope on the horizon.  The Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas says they have identified a protein known as REDD-1which prevents the virus from infecting cells.  They are working on a shot that will make the protein grow in the body to prevent any strain of flu from infecting people. 

 It’s worth mentioning what a virus is.  Simply said, it is DNA in a protein shell.  Viruses are an agent of mutation.  They get into your body, the protein shell links to a spot on a cell that fits its surface shape and starts replicating its DNA.  Also worth noting is that there is more than one source claiming that these vaccines are being used for population control.  I haven’t quite figured that one out yet.  Also it is not unknown that some of these vaccines have been released with live viruses in them instead of dead viruses

 And remember the best defense against the flu is a strong immune system.  Your immune system is strengthened when the sun shines on your skin and converts the cholesterol in your body to vitamin D3.  I haven’t had the flu or a cold in two years, ever since I started taking a D3 supplement and spending more time in the sun without sunscreen, especially in the fall, winter, and spring.  If you slather yourself with sunscreen you most likely are D3 deficient and could need a flu vaccine.  The choice is still yours.

References:

 Photo Credits: wbur.orgMartin Argles

 


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2 Responses to Controversy Over Flu Vaccines: Boon or Boondoggle

  1. Pingback: healthandknowledge.com » Blog Archive » Flu Vaccine: Boon or Boondoggle

  2. Really good know-how! I have been hunting for anything like that for quite a while these days. Regards!

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