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Flu shot info: "60% effective" is marketing spin on useless shot

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 

http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/new-study-exposes-the-60-effective-flu-shot-as-98-5-useless/

 

 

"A new study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reveals that the flu vaccine prevents lab confirmed type A or type B influenza in only 1.5 out of every 100 vaccinated adults … but the media is reporting this to mean “60 percent effective.”

It is estimated that, annually, only about 2.7% of adults get type A or type B influenza in the first place. The study showed that the use of flu vaccines appear to drop this down to about 1.2%. This is a roughly 60% drop, but that ignores the fact that the vaccine has no protective health benefit for 97.5% of adults."

post #2 of 61

Well, here's the actual findings from the article:

 

 

 

Quote:

Findings

We screened 5707 articles and identified 31 eligible studies (17 randomised controlled trials and 14 observational studies). Efficacy of TIV was shown in eight (67%) of the 12 seasons analysed in ten randomised controlled trials (pooled efficacy 59% [95% CI 51—67] in adults aged 18—65 years). No such trials met inclusion criteria for children aged 2—17 years or adults aged 65 years or older. Efficacy of LAIV was shown in nine (75%) of the 12 seasons analysed in ten randomised controlled trials (pooled efficacy 83% [69—91]) in children aged 6 months to 7 years. No such trials met inclusion criteria for children aged 8—17 years. Vaccine effectiveness was variable for seasonal influenza: six (35%) of 17 analyses in nine studies showed significant protection against medically attended influenza in the outpatient or inpatient setting. Median monovalent pandemic H1N1 vaccine effectiveness in five observational studies was 69% (range 60—93).

 

Not sure where the numbers in that article are pulled from.

post #3 of 61

The healthimpactnews.com article was written by Dr. Mercola, whose practice at the moment seems to involve a HUGE website that sells dietary supplements.  He's also really in to the benefits of raw milk right now, from the looks of things.  His clinic offers a variety of services, including homeopathy, EFT, and thermography. My look around his website is not increasing my respect for his practice.  I see from his biography on wikipedia that he denies that HIV causes AIDS.  I'm suspicious of his claims to medical expertise on matters related to infectious diseases, and skeptical of his statistical analyses.  

post #4 of 61

If   we had 100% flu vaccination rate then  out of 2.7 % of people who get flu, only 1.2 % would get the flu. Less than half would get illl!. Large number would have less sever desease.  We do not have 100% flu vaccination rates.

 

 

Those are actually impressive number for ever mutating virus.  Dr Mercola is total quack who is making money off innocenct people who lack critical thinking skills. No one needs hi is supplements.

 

Yes, for healthy people flu is not a threat but there many people for whom flue can have catastrophic consequences and so, being vaccinate or being protected by hear immunity saves pain ND suffering for these patients.

 

H1N1 was very brutal for pregnant women.

 

Health care workers are required to get flu vaccine because they come in contact with fragile populations.

 

 

 

 

post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

The healthimpactnews.com article was written by Dr. Mercola, whose practice at the moment seems to involve a HUGE website that sells dietary supplements.  He's also really in to the benefits of raw milk right now, from the looks of things.  His clinic offers a variety of services, including homeopathy, EFT, and thermography. My look around his website is not increasing my respect for his practice.  I see from his biography on wikipedia that he denies that HIV causes AIDS.  I'm suspicious of his claims to medical expertise on matters related to infectious diseases, and skeptical of his statistical analyses.  


And vaccine companies are not selling anything? Bolt.gif

 

 

Personally, I would skip the Mercola site and go straight to the source...I like to look at the raw numbers.  The same thing holds true regarding pro-vaccine sites - I would skip it and go to the source.  

 

Both the Op and the article linked to the Lancet article, which is a good thing. 

 

 

 

 

 

post #6 of 61

It's unusual for a conventional medical practice to maintain a sales website.  I don't deny that they sell things, but they usually don't do it through a direct sales website.

 

In this case, the source disagrees with Mercola's interpretation in a fairly striking way.  

post #7 of 61

Everyone is trying to sell  something. This is how capitalism works. However , I trust FDA more than Mercola.

 

India celebrate a year without polio today. Vaccines work even when there is not good water and sewage system.

 

Medications get tested and when errors happen, medications are recalled or banned. I do not see this happening with supplements.

 

 

post #8 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Everyone is trying to sell  something. This is how capitalism works. However , I trust FDA more than Mercola.

 

India celebrate a year without polio today. Vaccines work even when there is not good water and sewage system.

 

Medications get tested and when errors happen, medications are recalled or banned. I do not see this happening with supplements.

 

 

But the discussion should not be about Mercola (and yes, I commented earlier.  My bad).  That is a straw man argument.  We do not like Mercola - let's beat up Mercola instead of looking at the study out of the Lancet that Mercola is siting.  

 

 

I don't know, I just bet the Op is more interested in discussing the flu shot  than Mercola.

 

Sadly, though, I don't control the world - so if you want to come on and scream "Mercola is bad!"  have at it.

 

------------------

 

More on topic.....

 

Personally, I do not bother with the flu vaccine  (shocker!!!winky.gif)

 

I am not in a high risk group

 

I am not impressed with how it is made (lets guess what flu is going to be going around and tailor the flu shot to that)

 

I have heard reports of it being associated with Gillian Barre.  I do not doubt that is rare  (and there probably are few reliable figures on how rare), but seeing as I would in almost all certainty survive the flu with no long term consequences, I will take my chances with the flu.  

 

Anecdotally, my DH works in a large office where many people get the flu shot.  Several of them have noticed that they get sick after the flu shot.  Several have discontinued getting the flu shot after realising they get sick every time they get the shot.  

 

Lastly, the efficacy rates posted in the Lancet are not impressive to me.  Zi wonder if they are consistent with other findings.  Some people might think they are good enough.

 

The flu can be pretty serious for some groups, though. If I were elderly I might consider it (or at least do more research)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

post #9 of 61

Before my exit out of the military I was handed a list of thing to look over and if they affected me I would not be allowed to have the flu shot.  Guillen Berre was on that list.  My mother had or still has Guillen Berre, it's in remission. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

But the discussion should not be about Mercola (and yes, I commented earlier.  My bad).  That is a straw man argument.  We do not like Mercola - let's beat up Mercola instead of looking at the study out of the Lancet that Mercola is siting.  

 

 

I don't know, I just bet the Op is more interested in discussing the flu shot  than Mercola.

 

Sadly, though, I don't control the world - so if you want to come on and scream "Mercola is bad!"  have at it.

 

------------------

 

More on topic.....

 

Personally, I do not bother with the flu vaccine  (shocker!!!winky.gif)

 

I am not in a high risk group

 

I am not impressed with how it is made (lets guess what flu is going to be going around and tailor the flu shot to that)

 

I have heard reports of it being associated with Gillian Barre.  I do not doubt that is rare  (and there probably are few reliable figures on how rare), but seeing as I would in almost all certainty survive the flu with no long term consequences, I will take my chances with the flu.  

 

Anecdotally, my DH works in a large office where many people get the flu shot.  Several of them have noticed that they get sick after the flu shot.  Several have discontinued getting the flu shot after realising they get sick every time they get the shot.  

 

Lastly, the efficacy rates posted in the Lancet are not impressive to me.  Zi wonder if they are consistent with other findings.  Some people might think they are good enough.

 

The flu can be pretty serious for some groups, though. If I were elderly I might consider it (or at least do more research)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 



 

post #10 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

The healthimpactnews.com article was written by Dr. Mercola, whose practice at the moment seems to involve a HUGE website that sells dietary supplements.  He's also really in to the benefits of raw milk right now, from the looks of things.  His clinic offers a variety of services, including homeopathy, EFT, and thermography. My look around his website is not increasing my respect for his practice.  I see from his biography on wikipedia that he denies that HIV causes AIDS.  I'm suspicious of his claims to medical expertise on matters related to infectious diseases, and skeptical of his statistical analyses.  



 

This is the man who denies that HIV causes AIDS:

 

 http://www.peterduesberg.com:

 

"Peter H. Duesberg, Ph.D. is a professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.Biographical Sketch

    He isolated the first cancer gene through his work on retroviruses in 1970, and mapped the genetic structure of these viruses. This, and his subsequent work in the same field, resulted in his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1986. He is also the recipient of a seven-year Outstanding Investigator Grant from the National Institutes of Health.

    On the basis of his experience with retroviruses, Duesberg has challenged the virus-AIDS hypothesis in the pages of such journals as Cancer Research, Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science, Nature, Journal of AIDS, AIDS Forschung, Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapeutics, New England Journal of Medicine and Research in Immunology. He has instead proposed the hypothesis that the various American/European AIDS diseases are brought on by the long-term consumption of recreational drugs and/or AZT itself, which is prescribed to prevent or treat AIDS.  See The AIDS Dilemma: Drug diseases blamed on a passenger virus.

 

His work is supported by Kary Mullis, who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction technique for detecting DNA. This is the technique used to search for fragments of HIV in AIDS patients.

    Prof. Duesberg's findings have been a thorn in the side of the medical establishment and drug companies since 1987. Instead of engaging in scientific debate, however, the only response has been to cut-off funding to further test Professor's Duesberg's hypothesis."

 

Personally, I don't think Mercola's views on AIDS makes him a quack, not when a Nobel-Prize winning chemist and a highly qualified biologist make a valid case for such views, and when expressing such views got them black-listed.

 

While I don't drink raw milk, I do know many people whose health drastically improved by switching from pasteurized milk to raw milk. So that doesn't bother me, either.

 

 While I would never pay a penny for anything he sells, it's not because I doubt his perspective.  What I dislike about him is that he uses PRECISELY the same shady marketing tactics as the pharmaceutical industry, in exactly the same way:  "let's scare the customer, and then sell them something to make them less scared."

 

The studies he cites, though, and the conclusions he draws from them are  spot-on.

 

If one wants to attack him for his sales tactics and views on AIDS and raw milk, one must do the same thing with the pharmaceutical industry, whose sales tactics are FAR worse, whose "views" on flu, ear infections, colds, coughs, etc. and childhood diseases (not to mention depression in toddlers) are ridiculous, and whose products are far, far more damaging.  

 

 

 

 

 

post #11 of 61

I think you're falling for the fallacy of false expertise.  Cell biologists really shouldn't be drawing conclusions about epidemiology.  It's not their field.  The hypothesis you bring up here - that AIDS is actually caused by long-term recreational drug use and/or AZT - is a fantastic demonstration of why cell biologists should stick to cell biology, or at least do enough study to gain an understanding of germ theory before attempting to publish and promote new theories about an infectious disease.  You can get AIDS by using recreational drugs if you inject them with contaminated needles.  The problem there isn't the drugs - it's the HIV in the contaminated syringes.  AIDS was around for a number of years before AZT, which, while it has unpleasant side effects, actually works for many patients.  There are plenty of AIDS patients who have never been exposed to either AZT or recreational drugs.  Sadly, there are, in fact, plenty of AIDS victims who lack access to AZT, which would help control their disease and prolong their lives.  That's why he's been blacklisted - it's not that no one wants to acknowledge the brilliance of his theory, it's that the people who are actually doing research on one of the three most serious infectious diseases in the world don't have time to waste on crackpot theories by people who are in denial about how the disease is transmitted.  

 

I also strongly disagree with your assertion that Mercola's conclusions are "spot on."  The dramatic contradiction between the conclusions of the Lancet article Mercola referred to, and Mercola's conclusions drawn from that article as cited in your OP might more conventionally be interpreted as suggesting that his conclusions are driven by something other than science.  

post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

The flu can be pretty serious for some groups, though. If I were elderly I might consider it (or at least do more research)

 

 



I think this is a really important point.  Most morbidity and mortality associated with the flu occurs in the elderly, but most cases occur in young people.  For myself, I'm not worried about the flu at all.  However, while it wouldn't be a big deal for me, I could easily bring the flu home to my dd who has asthma.  It would be a big deal for her.  And while I'm not elderly myself and won't be for some time, I also worry about passing something like the flu on to my grandfather, who is not in good health.  I'm vaccinated for the herd, not for myself.  

post #13 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

I think you're falling for the fallacy of false expertise.  Cell biologists really shouldn't be drawing conclusions about epidemiology.  It's not their field.  The hypothesis you bring up here - that AIDS is actually caused by long-term recreational drug use and/or AZT - is a fantastic demonstration of why cell biologists should stick to cell biology, or at least do enough study to gain an understanding of germ theory before attempting to publish and promote new theories about an infectious disease.  



But this isn't about epidemiology.  It IS about cellular biology. This is Duesberg's specialty--he was the first to map the genetic structure of retroviruses, and AIDS is supposed to be a retrovirus.  The fact that his theory is supported by a Nobel-prize winning chemist means more to me than your rant.

 

Interestingly, I found out about Duesberg in a book club--his book, Inventing the AIDS Virus, was the assigned book.

 

Even more interesting is the fact that many of our book club members are research scientists (PhDs) and doctors (MDs).  The book was suggested by one of the PhDs.  The MDs thought Duesberg was a crackpot--at first.  We had one month (four meetings) on this book, and the few of us who AREN'T MDs or PhDs sat back and watched as everyone else looked up every reference in the book.

 

The consensus was--Duesberg was right.

 

The most interesting thing I learned, though, wasn't from the book.  It was from the fact that all the researchers basically agreed that they could not publicly support Duesberg, or else they'd risk losing grants, assignments, and even their jobs.  


The MDs were very quiet at that meeting.

post #14 of 61

This is about epidemiology - Duesburg is attempting to draw conclusions about how AIDS is spread.  That's epidemiological. The structure of the virus has an impact on how it is spread, but knowing the structure of retroviruses in general does not convey a clear understanding of how any specific single retrovirus is transmitted.  And I don't give a damn about the Nobel prize won by a chemist who supports him.  I'm sure that's nice for Duesburg, but having cool friends does not stand in for a rigorous peer review process.  

 

I'm sorry your book club had difficulty with the book on the issue.  But, as there are plenty of people with AIDS who have never been near either AZT or a recreational drug, Duesburg's theory simply doesn't stand up.  

post #15 of 61

I just checked your link, and almost screamed so loud I woke the baby.  Duesburg:

 

a) believes AIDS is rare.  It's not.  It's one of the three most serious public health threats in the world.

b) refers only to Europe and North America.  Last I checked, the earth had 6 populated continents.  

c) does not cite a source for his "10 relevant facts."

d) believes AIDS is difficult to transmit through sexual contact, which it absolutely is not.  

e) believes that low/no numbers of health care workers who have contracted AIDS from a patient means that the disease is not contagious (and I imagine it comes as no surprise that I'm skeptical of Duesburg's un-cited stats).  Actually, it means that hcps are using proper precautions to avoid contracting blood-borne illnesses.  Also, there is at least one recorded case of a patient getting HIV from a hcp.  One such patient testified before Congress in 1991.     

 

He's way behind the times even for 1998, when he wrote the article.  He's echoing the views of social conservatives who saw AIDS as convenient proof that homosexuality was immoral and over-looked everyone else affected by the disease.  

 

AIDS denialism has a long and unfortunate history on MDC, but AIDS is a really real disease, transmitted by sexual contact, blood, and blood products, that has had a huge impact on the world.  At the end of 2011, 34 million people were living with AIDS worldwide.  50% of those people were women.  10% were children.  1.8 million people died of AIDS in 2010 alone.  By the end of 2009, 16.6 million children had been orphaned by AIDS.  We are well past the point of AIDS denialism being a rational thing.  And you really don't need it, or the people who promote it, to argue against vaccines.  I haven't looked, because I don't personally subscribe to an anti-vax POV, but I'm sure there are anti-vax scientists out there who fully acknowledge that AIDS is a massive global public health problem.  

 

 

post #16 of 61
Thread Starter 

Regarding AIDS:

 

http://www.omsj.org/2012/duesberg%202012.pdf

 

 

ITALIAN JOURNAL OF ANATOMY AND EMBRYOLOGY

Review - Basic and Applied Anatomy and Embryology

AIDS since 1984: No evidence for a new, viral epidemic – not even in Africa

Peter H. Duesberg1,*, Daniele Mandrioli1, Amanda McCormack1, Joshua M. Nicholson2, David Rasnick3, Christian Fiala4, Claus Koehnlein5, Henry H. Bauer2 and Marco Ruggiero6

1 Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Donner Laboratory, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA 2 Chemistry and Science Studies, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060-5623, USA 3 Oakland, CA 94610, USA 4 Gynmed Ambulatorium, Mariahilferguertel 37, 1150 Vienna, Austria

5 Internistische Praxis, Koenigsweg 14, 24103 Kiel, Germany 6 Department of Experimental Pathology and Oncology, University of Firenze, Italy

Submitted February 14, 2011; accepted June 16, 2011

 

 

Since the discoveries of a putative AIDS virus in 1984 and of millions of asymptomatic carriers in subsequent years, no general AIDS epidemic has occurred by 2011. In 2008, however, it has been proposed that between 2000 and 2005 the new AIDS virus, now called HIV, had killed 1.8 million South Africans at a steady rate of 300,000 per year and that anti-HIV drugs could have saved 330,000 of those. Here we investigate these claims in view of the paradoxes that HIV would cause a general epidemic in Africa but not in other continents, and a steady rather than a classical bell-shaped epidemic like all other new pathogenic viruses. Surprisingly, we found that South Africa attributed only about 10,000 deaths per year to HIV between 2000 and 2005 and that the South African population had increased by 3 million between 2000 and 2005 at a steady rate of 500,000 per year. This gain was part of a monotonic growth trajectory spanning from 29 million in 1980 to 49 million in 2008. During the same time Uganda increased from 12 to 31 million, and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole doubled from 400 to 800 million, despite high prevalence HIV. We deduce from this demographic evidence that HIV is not a new killer virus. Based on a review of the known toxicities of antiretroviral drugs we like to draw the attention of scientists who work in basic and clinical medical fields, including embryologists, to the need of rethinking the risk-and-benefit balance of antiretroviral drugs for pregnant women, newborn babies, and all others who carry antibodies against HIV.

 

 

 

...In sum, our analyses of African HIV- and AIDS prevalence revealed unexpected discrepancies between the reported epidemics of AIDS and of HIV. The predicted epidemiological pattern of mortality associated with the putative new AIDS virus never showed up in South Africa or anywhere else in Africa between 2000 and 2005

 

From the same paper, regarding AZT:

In 1994, the ability of AZT to prevent AIDS was tested by the British/French Concorde study, the largest placebo-controlled studyof its kind (Aboulker and Swart, 1993; Seligmann et al., 1994). This study investigated the onset of AIDS and death in 1749 HIV-positive, mostly male homosexual subjects, which had been divided into an untreated and an AZT-treated subgroup. It was found that AZT is unable to prevent AIDS and increases mortality by 25%. In view of this, it was concluded vent AIDS and increases the mortality by 25%. In view of this it was concluded, “The results of Concorde do not encourage the early use of zidoduvine (AZT) in symptom-free HIV-infected adults. (Seligman et all, 1994)

 

 

post #17 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

 

I'm sorry your book club had difficulty with the book on the issue.  



What an incredibly snarky comment!  

We did not have any difficulty with the book on the issue, nor did I state so.  It seems that you are the one with the difficulty. Perhaps, as we did, you should actually read the book, and look up all the studies and statistics he cites, especially before you label a recipient of a seven-year OUtstanding Investigator Grant from NIH, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences a crackpot.

 

You might also consider that the industry that opposed his views stood to lose billions in grants and pharmaceutical sales.

post #18 of 61

So, are you asserting that in order to understand the anti-vaccination position, you must also accept that AIDS is a huge fraud?  Because I think that's pretty important for parents to know as they ponder the implications of their own vaccination decisions - that if they choose not to vaccinate they are throwing in their lot with people so lost to science that they think that AIDS is made up by people who, what?  Got sick of working on the other two most serious infectious diseases, TB and malaria?  Wanted to embezzle some research funding?  

 

There is plenty of evidence of an AIDS epidemic of massive proportions. If there wasn't, let me assure you that the people working on treating it and preventing its spread would be happy to turn their attention to the new totally drug resistant strain of TB.  Or to something else. Please, please continue to advertise your feelings on AIDS every time you talk about vaccines.  If that's your view, I think people should take that into consideration when thinking about your advice.  

 

ETA: AIDS stats for those who would like to be sure its existence is empirically supported by evidence

 

http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm

 

Sources are linked at the bottom of the page for those who like to check the math.


Edited by stik - 1/16/12 at 8:48am
post #19 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

So, are you asserting that in order to understand the anti-vaccination position, you must also accept that AIDS is a huge fraud?  Because I think that's pretty important for parents to know as they ponder the implications of their own vaccination decisions - that if they choose not to vaccinate they are throwing in their lot with people so lost to science that they think that AIDS is made up by people who, what?  Got sick of working on the other two most serious infectious diseases, TB and malaria?  Wanted to embezzle some research funding?  

 

There is plenty of evidence of an AIDS epidemic of massive proportions. If there wasn't, let me assure you that the people working on treating it and preventing its spread would be happy to turn their attention to the new totally drug resistant strain of TB.  Or to something else. Please, please continue to advertise your feelings on AIDS every time you talk about vaccines.  If that's your view, I think people should take that into consideration when thinking about your advice.  


I didn't bring up AIDS--you did. I merely responded to what I believe was a glaring inaccuracy on your part.

 

If you are reasonably intelligent, no matter what your education/brainwashing has been, the most accurate thing you can say about the AIDS "epidemic" is that there are conflicting reports (gee, just like the issue of vaccine safety/effectiveness!).

 

If you do your research (for either AIDS or vaccines), the $$ trail is obvious. And appalling.  

The researchers I know (and I know many) are all too aware of this.  They know that they are pawns in this game, but feel trapped.

 

For some reason, many (not all) of the MDs I know are NOT aware of this.  According to the MDs I know who ARE aware of this, it has to do with their education--when you are taught for years and years by doctors who are paid representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, that's got to have a pretty strong effect.  Part of this has to do with the unbelievable amount of financial and time investment put in in medical school/residency.  

 

They tell me that a great deal has to do with the fact that this immense investment was made by most of these doctors with the idea of helping people and SAVING lives, not ruining them.  So any criticism from a non-doctor, who has not put in this kind of investment, is immediately viewed as an ignorant and personal attack--despite the fact that those of us making that criticism tend to be the ones who have been harmed by this system.

 

Please notice, I am not saying that we have been harmed by doctors, but by the system.  In most cases, doctors are the ones making the decisions that harm us, but they are not harming us INTENTIONALLY.  They are harming us because they are functioning according to the system--which calls for them to prescribe drugs, surgical interventions, and injections of chemicals deemed safe by the seller, but in the case of many of us, proven harmful.

 

 

 

post #20 of 61

Can you elaborate more on how doctors are taught in medical schooled by paid reps of the pharmaceutical industry?  As far as I know, my professors in med school were employed by the university. 

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