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Flu Vaccine for All: A Critical Look at the Evidence

By |December 30, 2015|Vaccination|

Flu Vaccine for All:
A Critical Look at the Evidence

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   Medscape
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Question

Does the evidence support the call for universal influenza vaccination?

Response from Eric A. Biondi, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Hospitalist, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York
Response from C. Andrew Aligne, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Director of The Hoekelman Center, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, Rochester, New York

Influenza vaccination is a yearly ritual. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend annual influenza vaccination for all healthy persons 6 months of age or older who are without contraindications.

In an interview published in The Atlantic, Tom Jefferson, head of the Vaccine Field Group at the Cochrane Database Collaboration (the world’s leading producer of evidence-based medical reviews), voiced serious reservations about the data supporting influenza vaccine recommendations, stating that “The vast majority of the studies [are] deeply flawed. Rubbish is not a scientific term, but I think it’s the term that applies.”

A critical look at the evidence raises further questions about the flu shot recommendations. A 2012 Cochrane review examining the efficacy of pediatric influenza vaccination noted that:

…industry-funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies, independent of methodological quality and size. Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favorable to [influenza] vaccines… reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies.

And a 2014 Cochrane review examining use of flu vaccine in healthy adults, including pregnant women, concluded that:

[Influenza] vaccination shows no appreciable effect on working days lost or hospitalization.

Read about the virology of influenza and it’s relationship with vitamin D.
(more…)

New data concerning the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine

By |February 22, 2013|Vaccination|

Source Huffington Post

Flu vaccine is not as effective as public health messaging traditionally has claimed, says a new report that suggests overselling of flu shots is getting in the way of developing more effective and longer lasting vaccines.

The project that led to the report was called the CIDRAP Comprehensive Influenza Vaccine Initiative, and it involved mining more than 12,000 documents, articles and meeting transcripts as well as more than 5,700 peer-reviewed vaccine studies published from 1936 through April 2012. The full report can be found here.

In recent years studies by a variety of research groups  have shown that the long-quoted claims that flu shots offered 70 to 90 per cent protection against influenza have been off the mark.

Somewhere in the order of 50 to 60 per cent, in healthy adults, is more accurate, the newer studies suggest. Efficacy rates are lower in the elderly or people in poor health. Vaccine effectiveness in those 65 and older against both influenza A and B was 27% (95% CI, -31% to 59%), and against H3N2 it was 9% (95% CI, -84% to 55%), but both numbers are statistically not significant.

The report suggests that the higher numbers came from old studies done on vaccines that were not formulated the way current shots are. It also suggests that the belief that universal vaccination for flu would be useful and desirable, rather than solid scientific evidence, was what drove decisions to recommend flu shots for all in the U.S. (The study did not look at decisions made in Canada or elsewhere.)

Even the vaccine used in the U.S. during the 2009 pandemic — where there was a perfect match between the virus in the vaccine and the strain infecting people — didn’t offer better protection. Studies cited in the report pegged the U.S. vaccine’s effectiveness at 56 per cent.

A key argument of the report is the fact that the current vaccine that offers moderate protection is actually getting in the way of developing long-lasting flu vaccines that offer more effective protection — vaccines, for example, that might require a shot every five or 10 years. Currently flu shots are reformulated every year to try to keep up with the evolution of flu viruses.

Even though a flu shot is a relatively inexpensive vaccine, manufacturers sell hundreds of millions of doses of them a year. In fact, the report notes that the global market for flu vaccine is estimated at US$2.8 billion — a decent chunk of the estimated US$20 billion annual market for all vaccines combined.

For an interesting article of influenza and the protectiveness of Vitamin D please read On the epidemiology of influenza

“Raise vaccination rates”, Gates says to health leaders

By |May 17, 2011|Health Promotion, Vaccination|

Full Story at CBC News

Bill Gates will have the attention of most of the world’s health ministers on Tuesday, when he plans to share one main message: Get your vaccination rates up. Gates is pushing to get countries to increase vaccination rates as an easy, low-cost way to protect their populations. He is scheduled to give the keynote address at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.

“Every percentage point you increase from where we are now to that goal you’re talking about hundreds of children who don’t die and thousands of children who don’t get sick in a way that prevents their brain from developing fully,” he said.

During Tuesday’s speech, Gates will highlight strong results from a new meningitis vaccine in the West African nation of Burkina Faso, where last year there were 66 cases in the first four months. This year the country has seen only one case. A “meningitis belt” runs through Burkina Faso, Chad, Nigeria and Niger. But the new vaccine, which is being given to infants and adults, has shown strong results so far.

“It’s a success story,” Gates said. “For people who live in the meningitis belt the kind of fear and seeing the kids who are made deaf because of it they see it as a huge breakthrough. People immediately come and get this vaccine because they have such a fear of the disease.”

The Issue That Just Won’t Go Away: Vaccines and Autism: A New Scientific Review

By |May 2, 2011|Vaccination|

The Issue That Just Won’t Go Away
Vaccines and Autism: A New Scientific Review

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   CBS News Investigates

By Sharyl Attkisson


For all those who’ve declared the autism-vaccine debate over – a new scientific review of the literature begs to differ.

It considers a host of peer-reviewed, published theories that show possible connections between vaccines and autism. The two articles in the Journal of Immunotoxicology are both entitled “Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes.” [1, 2] The author is Helen Ratajczak, surprisingly herself a former senior scientist at a pharmaceutical firm. Ratajczak did what nobody else apparently has bothered to do: she reviewed the body of published science since autism was first described in 1943. Not just one theory suggested by research such as the role of MMR shots, or the mercury preservative thimerosal; but all of them.

Ratajczak’s article states, in part, that “Documented causes of autism include genetic mutations and/or deletions, viral infections, and encephalitis following vaccination [emphasis added]. Therefore, autism is the result of genetic defects and/or inflammation of the brain.”

The article goes on to discuss many potential vaccine-related culprits, including the increasing number of vaccines given in a short period of time. “What I have published is highly concentrated on hypersensitivity, Ratajczak told us in an interview, “the body’s immune system being thrown out of balance.” (more…)

Danish vaccine scientist indicted in US

By |April 20, 2011|Vaccination|

Autism researcher accused of embezzling $1 million
Source Copenhagen Post

American prosecutors are seeking to extradite a Danish scientist who a federal grand jury in Atlanta has charged with 13 counts of wire fraud and nine counts of money laundering. They allege that Poul Thorsen, 49, stole over $1 million from autism research funding between February 2004 and June 2008, and used the proceeds to buy a home in Atlanta, two cars and a Harley Davidson.

Thorsen helped two Danish government agencies obtain research grants, which amounted to $11 million between 2000 and 2009, whilst he was working as a visiting scientist at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the 1990s. He returned to Denmark as the ‘principal investigator’ for the programme, which studied the relationship between autism and exposure to vaccines, allegedly putting him in charge of the administration of the funding.

(more…)

Are Chiropractic Patients Less Likely To Be Vaccinated?

By |March 11, 2011|News, Vaccination|

Are Chiropractic Patients Less Likely To Be Vaccinated?

The Chiro.Org Blog


Influenza vaccination among chiropractic patients and other users of complementary and alternative medicine: Are chiropractic patients really different?

SOURCE: Preventive Medicine 2011 (Feb 4) [Epub ahead of print]

Davis MA, Smith M, Weeks WB.

Center for Health Policy, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, 35 Centerra Parkway, Lebanon, NH 03766, United States; Grace Cottage Hospital, Townshend, VT, United States.

OBJECTIVE: Previous studies suggest a possible association between using chiropractic care and lower influenza vaccination rates. We examined adult influenza vaccination rates for chiropractic patients to determine if they are different than those for users of other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). (more…)