Just one week ago, I posted an article on new discoveries about the immune system and how they help explain the inefficacy of the flu shot. Not surprisingly, it stirred up some controversy, and many in our community voiced their opinions loud and clear.

I, for one, was not surprised. Immunization is a volatile topic since we are told that the flu vaccine is on the cutting edge of science and is an iron-clad way to stay healthy during the influenza season.

However, a study published this week may prove otherwise.

New and Shocking Flu Shot Study

Coincidentally, one of the world’s most respected medical journals – The Lancet Infectious Diseases – released a long-range study on October 26, 2011, that for the first time ever reviews the efficacy and effectiveness of flu shots dating back from 1967 to 2011.

Titled “Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccines: a systematic review and meta-analysis”, the study authors reveal that…

“Evidence for protection in adults aged 65 years or older is lacking.” 1

And what’s more, the study further found that “flu shots prevent only 59% of infections in adults”.1 This does not mean, however, that for every 100 adults that get vaccinated 59 were protected by the flu shot. The 59% figure represents a “pooled efficacy of 59% in adults aged 18 to 65 years.”1

So in reality, the numbers for adults are much lower, since the study revealed the highest efficacy of the flu vaccine in children aged 6 months to 7 years.1

And what about reducing the number of hospitalizations due to the seasonal flu? It showed a mere 8% reduction.

Lead researcher Michael Osterholm seems jolted by what many in the medical establishment consider shocking results. In an interview with USA Today he states that,

“We have an obligation to tell the public what we know. We know we need better vaccines.” 2

Indeed, Osterholm’s team concludes that,

“Influenza vaccines can provide moderate protection against virologically confirmed influenza, but such protection is greatly reduced or absent in some seasons. Evidence for protection in adults aged 65 years or older is lacking.”

This most recent study is making big news around the medical world. But the question is, how much evidence is necessary for the medical establishment to realize that the answer to reduce influenza outbreaks is to focus on health rather than on disease.

Because previous studies have already shown similar results. Just to give one example, back in 2007, The Lancet published the study titled “Mortality benefits of influenza vaccination in elderly people: an ongoing controversy” that basically arrived to the same conclusion as today’s study.3

Quoting from the article, the authors write this stunning statement:

“We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits.” 3

Reduce Your Risk… Protect Yourself Naturally

This study further confirms my contention, that what’s most important is to remember that you can prevent catching the flu by following simple natural protocols to boost your immune system. If you haven’t yet (or if you need a refresher), read my previous blog post titled ‘The Flu Shot: Everything You Need to Know’. You’ll find my common-sense suggestions to naturally arm yourself against the flu and stay in top shape.

Stay informed and healthy!

References

1 Osterholm M T, et al. “Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccines: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Early Online Publication, 26 October 2011.
2http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/medical/coldflu/story/2011-10-25/More-effective-flu-shots-needed-study-shows/50913008/1
3 Simonsen L, et al. “Mortality benefits of influenza vaccination in elderly people: and ongoing controversy”. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Volume 7, Issue 10, Pages 658 – 666, October 2007

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  1. Maria Wisniowski

    Thank you Vivian. You are one of the few intelligent, informed and honest voices among the cacophony of crooked
    money-grabbers.

  2. Mami

    Not sure if this is something you can do, but here is my peoblrm lately. I think this is a story that needs an answer (in my humble opinion). How can we trust any flu reports right now when the hospitals are telling people to stay home and have quit testing to see if it is H1N1 or not?

  3. Carol

    The last flu shot I got was around 1973 or so. A couple of hours after I got it, I suddenly fell ill with a really bad cold. I have always had a really weak respiratory system, & have had moderate COPD for years now. In fact, one doctor diagnosed me with “mild” emphysema. So a cold is exactly what I do everything I can to avoid. A holistic doctor prescribed certain mushroom extracts & astragalus extract so that I wouldn’t get such frequent colds, which always escalated into bronchitis & lasted weeks. Since then I have had hardly any problems with getting sick. I don’t take the mushroom extracts anymore because I switched to Epicor. I also still take the astragalus. I highly recommend both. The last & only time I have gotten the flu during all these years was tested by my doctor & found to be a strain that was NOT in the flu shots, because it was a BACTERIAL strain — not a virus. By the way, astragalus is also good for regulating blood sugar.

    • JENN CARDARELLI

      what are the opions about taking the Shingles vaccine?? Does IT DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD ?? SHOULD WE CONTINUE TAKING THE BONE DENTISTY TEST IF YOUR T-SCORE IS LOWER THNAN THE AVERAGE PERSON YOUR AGE–WAY LOWER,,,,,,,,,,,

  4. Bee

    As usual, things are not clear cut. You have to balance against having the injection, the consequences to some people of getting ‘flu. And you don’t know until you get it, how badly it will affect you. A bout of ‘flu can leave you seriously debilitated. Severe harm to the immune system, weight loss, weakness, loss of mobility and subsequent loss of muscle bulk, will all contribute towards a decrease in bone density, the very thing we folk here are concerned about in the first place.
    I have been dithering for the last 2 months over whether to have the injection or not and I still can’t decide! Having gone through cancer treatment (incl. chemo) earlier this year, I can’t make up my mind whether to risk the injection or the ‘flu, on my already weakened immune system. Unfortunately no-one can decide that for me (and my GP was of no help. It’s all such a gamble.

  5. Alex

    This study basically argues that the flu vaccine shows “substantial
    safety and moderate efficacy”. Very far from shocking. Read the *actual* conclusion of the study below and it becomes clear that this article is trying to substantially change its emphasis through selective quoting:

    Seasonal influenza is an important public health and
    medical challenge. Pandemic influenza would cause a
    substantial burden of disease and seriously threaten the
    global economy. Based on a track record of substantial
    safety and moderate efficacy in many seasons, we believe
    the current influenza vaccines will continue to have a role
    in reduction of influenza morbidity until more effective
    interventions are available. However, evidence for
    consistent high-level protection is elusive for the present
    generation of vaccines, especially in individuals at risk of
    medical complications or those aged 65 years or older.
    The ongoing public health burden caused by seasonal
    influenza and the potential global effect of a severe
    pandemic suggests an urgent need for a new generation
    of more highly effective and cross-protective vaccines that
    can be manufactured rapidly. New vaccines based on
    novel antigens that differ from the presently licensed
    vaccines are in development. Active partnerships between
    industry and government are needed to accelerate
    research, reduce regulatory barriers to licensure, and
    support financial models that favour the purchase of
    vaccines that provide improved protection. Active pursuit
    of this goal now will save lives every year and when the
    next influenza pandemic occurs. In the meantime, we
    should maintain public support for present vaccines that
    are the best intervention available for seasonal influenza.

    • Nancy

      Wow Alex, one question, do you work for a government regulated health facility?
      – a definite problem today is that people are conditioned to believe that the government is responsible for our health instead of each of us being in the driver seat. it wouldnt be for sale if it wasnt safe right? What the government is NOT doing is publishing the risks involved in getting any injection. It is information the pharmaceutical companies go to great lengths to keep hidden. It’s not made available at the injection sights because the govt maintains its voluntary to get a vaccine But its not People are forced everyday to get a vaccine to keep their job, to continue their studies etc. it’s simply not voluntary and if will cost you to Opt out. We are coerced into believing that the government is making this amazing vaccine available and ‘offers’ you the choice but at the same time recommends it Then also removes responsibility by saying ‘Only you and your G P know what’s right for you ‘ But at the same time we all know our GPs don’t know us because Conventional Doctors spend all of 10 minutes talking to us during a medical appointment. If you refuse a vaccination schedule for your child or yourself then you will find yourself without a doctor. ( conventional one that is)
      Doctors are regulated by govt and big pharm companies And this ‘care’ while focusing on disease care instead of health care , translates to pushing all big pharm products Push Push Push Do you realize that doctors do not spend any significant amount of time studying nutrition? Just diagnose , cut , and medicate. They are bound by government to stay well oiled by big pharm.
      What would happen if people stopped getting vaccines? People would get sick, maybe and naturally become immune a process that would definitely thin the herd, but perhaps that is more intuned to nature It simy is not the concern of the government that we the people are healthy but rather showing up for work, paying taxes etc. lets call it what it really is – controlling the masses. The people who die from being poisoned slowly by vaccinations is much greater than the number if people who die from complications of viruses. So they gave found a way to ‘help’ us keep ‘healthy’ in the mean time And its so difficult to prove because the big pharm companies are protecting their iwn agenda with just enough information to keep people scared and confused . I’ve not been vaccinated since I started asking questions and didn’t get the answers I wanted. Doctors don’t know if the vaccinations are safe and big pharm doesn’t care. You will most likely due before the case goes to court waiting. And they are too big to fight.
      A married couple got Hep A shots before they went on holiday They both now have MS and there are millions of stories of people who cannot get answers. Vaccinations are not safe. They are not a blanket ‘cure’ of any infectious disease They do more harm than we know its simply not the answer to put chemical cocktail into a child before their immune system is even developed and then the bug pharm can stand back and reap the rewards of serious future health problems We can stop the madness by demanding the information and raking back the control of our own health.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Well said, Nancy 🙂

  6. Diane Chriistopherson

    I wish I had gotten this information earlier because just about seven or eight days after receiving my flu shot, I began to get symptoms. It started with a scratchy throat for two days then moved into the worst bout of influenza I’ve ever had. I can honestly say that I have never been this ill. This morning I had to see my physician who put me on an antibiotic. I can’t remember when I’ve ever been so angry at the amount of money that is made selling this toxic stuff.

  7. Carole

    Hi Vivian,
    Thank you so very much for all your input. I don’t think that even you realise just how significant your information is. It’s like a pebble thrown into water and the ripples just keep expanding.
    God Bless Your Soul Vivian
    Carole

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for your kind words… and you’re very welcome!

  8. diana wessels

    Thank you for your very helpful information.

    • JENN CARDARELLI

      I QUESTIONED PEOPLE ABOUT THE SHINGLE VACCAINE AND GOT NO ANSWER. I ASKED ABOUT WHAT TO DO IF YOU BONE DENSITY T-SCORE IS VERY LOW. I AM ONLY 60 AND THE DOCTOR SAID I HAVE THE BONES OF A 90 YEAR OLD WOMAN. I HAD TO HAVE MY TEETH PULLED AND GET DENTURES. I HAD TO STAY OFF THE RECLAST FOR A YEAR. MY DENTIST THINK I SHOULD NOT TAKE IT, MY MD WANTS ME TO TAKE IT. WHAT WOULD ANY OF YOU DO ? I HAVE OCCIARTRISTIS OF THE JAW.

  9. Jeanne Rozman

    I got the flu shot last year and had no ill effects though I have been very interested in your article. I think it is valid and well researched and will not take the flu shot this year or ever. Vivian, your articles are important and very practical, It is hard to follow all your advice when away from home however, especially when it comes to water. Thanks again for your columns.
    Jeanne

  10. Winfield

    I also have never had a flu shot I am 71 and in great health other than the OA and OP, which is improving well with your program Vivian. Thank you.
    I recently began using the liquid olive leaf extract from Barleans with an ORAC value of 7608. It is not cheap, but it is a terriffic immune booster from what I’ve read.
    Vivian, have you ever commented on OLE? If so, where? If not, would you give us your opinion. Thank you, Winfield.

  11. elayne

    My father aged 97 took no medication until 4 years ago when he was hospitalised for an op on an oesophogeal pouch. While in hospital he had lots of problems these took a year to get over. He now has to take medication for prostate problems and type 2 diabetes, but he refuses the offer of a flu jab each year. It made him ill the one time he had it and seems to cope quite well still playing bowls and going to the football.I do understand folk with serious heart and lung problems must be cautious though.

  12. Peter Wright

    I think this is a great page Vivian and I read everyword you say and try and follow what you say as I believe you are on the right lines to get over our problems. I am 76 and supposed to have Rheumatoid Arthritis but begin to wonder if it is not Osteoarthrits as my knee joints are not to good. Pete

  13. Katie

    Re: Flu Vaccinations banned in B.C. …..please note that it was in 2009 the vaccines were just delayed a few months. I live in British Columbia and their is advertising on just about every corner to encourage all ages to drop into a Flu Clinic for their vaccine.
    Thanks for the suggestions to boost our immune systems. I plan to follow them.
    Katie….27 Oct., 2011

  14. Dr John Dzineku

    l totally agree with everything you say and advise me on. Originally, l was from the Gungle and l watch the gungle people and gungle animalls. Females conceived full of disease causing microbes, babies born within and surounded by all kinds of disease causing microbes:influenza, small pox, chicken pox, diphtheria e.c.t. people know nothing about vaccination, injection e.c.t. but people and the animals grow up strong to adult age very healthy.

    Now they are dying because western multimillion phamaceuticals flooding their contries with unwanted medicines and vaccines. l am responsible for my own health, thus, use only some food supplements to fortify and health my immune system

    l do appreciate the courtesy extended by giving me important health improvement information.

    All the very best

    John.

  15. Mary

    I don’t get a flu shot either.. Everytime I took the flu shot, I got the flu, pnemonia and was really sick….I just say “no thank-you” when the doctor asks me if I want one..

  16. Andrea Rye

    My husband and I stopped taking the annual flu shot about 5 years ago. We take a natural supplement called Epicor that enhances the immue system. We have not had colds or the flu since we started taken Epicor. We take one capsul a day. We realized the huge benefit of this supplement when our daughter cam to visit us and she had caught the Swine Flu on the airplane. We did not get sick. Another time she came home with strep throat and again we did not get sick. Try it. You will be impressed.

  17. Dee

    What is the new drug Prolia and is it safe to use?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I reviewed Prolia in this blog post, Dee:

      https://saveourbones.com/prolia-denosumab-review/

    • Mary

      My doctor wanted me to take Prolia shots because I can not take Fosamax or other osteo meds….I decided not to take it, because it is the same and IMO not much better than other osteo meds….I got a stomach ulcer from the fosamax and from the reclast, the flu….ALL winter long….Ask the doctor for other options…Consider exercise and Vivian’s Save Our Bones book and email info…It is great..

  18. Art

    For those that folow Dr. Mercola, not only are flu shots ineffective, they are down right dangerous, especially for kids and older people.

  19. Deliana

    I’ve never believed in the “flu-shot”. This confirms it for me once again!

  20. Joy Jennings

    Thank you Vivian! I very much appreciate the research out there that you pass on to us. The Lancet is certainly well recognized. When I was a hospital employee here in Canada, a flu shot was required for my employment. I always had flu symptoms for a day or so afterward. Since retirement, my husband and I have focused on a healthy diet and both of us have refused the flu shot. We are now over 75 and healthy and intend to stay that way!! Thanks again.

    Joy

  21. Caroline

    I just saw a review of the Lancet study by Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com, who has read the entire study. He says that the study says that only 1.5 adults out of 100 will avoid getting the flu as a result! It is not 59%. In other words, the way the mainstream media is reporting the study is incorrect!

  22. Joy Taylor

    Over the years I have regularly refused flu shots, Boniva, medications for blood pressure, etc. My doctor shakes his head with disapproval and has written in my chart, “She’s stubborn”. I’ve told him that that is one diagnosis he got right. I haven’t been sick since 2001, and was his only allergy patient NOT to need prescriptions or inhalers over the 2011 spring and fall allergy seasons. I’m 79 years old and I keep telling him he should listen to what I tell him and take my advice. But he’s stubborn too.

    • Judy

      I am laughing so hard I have tears running down my face!

  23. Betty

    I have always had a strong immune system and rarely got the flu or colds. If I did, they were short lived. I never received flu shots. In 1997, I started working for a Home Health agency and they encouraged me to take a flu shot for protection for my clients and myself, so for 12 years I did get a flu shot. I recently went in for a physical and had a full blood panel drawn, only to find that now I have a low WBC(3.6) and Lymphs(1.1). The doctor said it was nothing to be concerned about as is not that low. But, considering my health through the years, I am now wondering if the flu shots did decrease my WBC and Lymph counts and my immune system. I am starting the fall season with a cough and sore throat and wondering how my winter is going to be. Thanks Vivian for keeping us informed on healthy living. Betty

  24. alex

    hello,in my opioion if you want to commit suicide or atleast try to commit suicide meaning the information that there is even though its a debate and you still choose the shot then thats your problem at the end of the day we should not be feard into taking a shot of anything it should be a choice.etc…….

  25. Allison

    Several people I know who recently took the flu shot got sick. Amazing these people get sick and insist that its the only way to prevent the flu. An 83 year old woman at my gym who was always an inspiraton to me, is on the treadmil every time I see her. So the other day, I spoke to her and asked her if she takes the flu shot….She responded….never did, and never will. (: Thanks again, Viv

  26. LESLIE

    Hi! Vivian,

    As Always; Thank You VERY MUCH For Your Articles. I Think They Mean A Lot To A Lot Of People. Keep Up The GREAT WORK!

    LOVE, MS. L.

  27. Ghassan

    Not at all surprising! I remember advising my uncle and his wife against taking it some 10 years now and they said they were quite happy how it worked wonders for them after that first shot – I knew what will happen in subsequent years: more flu episodes than before.
    But the medical establishment seems very stubborn to learn: Michael Osterholm (in your article) says: We know we need better vaccines. In other words, more pathogens in the nation’s system!

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