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Flu vaccine useless, and the truth about vaccine trials.

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Much of the BMJ this week is about the uselessness of the Flu jab, and how you should read industry sponsorred reviews with a very jaundiced eye. This comment stood out in view of the recent discussions here about the lack of "real" vaccine trials:

http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/conte...l/333/7574/912

Quote:
In their efforts to deal with, or be seen to deal with, policy makers favour intervention with what is available—registered influenza vaccines. A similar philosophy is the "we have to make decisions and cannot wait to have perfect data" approach. This attitude may have an altruistic basis but has two important consequences. Firstly, it uses up resources that could be invested in a proper evaluation of influenza vaccines or on other health interventions of proven effectiveness. Secondly, the inception of a vaccination campaign seems to preclude the assessment of a vaccine through placebo controlled randomised trials on ethical grounds. Far from being unethical, however, such trials are desperately needed and we should invest in them without delay. A further consequence is reliance on non-randomised studies once the campaign is under way. It is debatable whether these can contribute to our understanding of the effectiveness of vaccines. Ultimately non-randomised designs cannot answer questions on the effects of influenza vaccines.
post #2 of 25
I'm feeling a whole lot better about my decision not to flu vaccinate my asthmatic 2 yo.

No evidence to suggest it works any better than placebo in kids, and not shown effective in asthmatics.
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
No evidence to suggest it works any better than placebo in kids, and not shown effective in asthmatics.
: Unfortunately that hasn't stopped my ped from calling all of it's under 2 yo patients asking parents to bring them in for the flu jab. I think it's because they've over-ordered their flu vaccine. Lucky for them, I wasn't home when they called - I just got a message on the machine. The first earful they would have gotten would have been that they didn't bother to read her chart before they called or they would have seen that I was religiously opposed to all vaccination. I probably would have then inserted a few sentences about being harrassed for my religious views and ended with asking them why the office was recommending flu vaccination for those under two when the latest analysis of the data found that it was completely ineffective. I so wish I had been home.
post #4 of 25
The CDC is gonna be PISSED!
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Here's another good quote:

Quote:
Studies of the effects on influenza-like illness and its complications most closely replicate real life conditions because no one knows what agent (if any) causes this disease. Influenza-like illness is an acute respiratory disease caused by many different viruses (including influenza A and B), which presents with symptoms and signs that cannot be distinguished from those of influenza. Influenza-like illness does not have documented laboratory isolation of the causative agent and is the syndrome that most commonly presents to doctors ("the flu").

In general the most powerful and reliable studies are those that "average" out several years and perform subanalyses by setting, population, viral circulation, and viral-vaccine antigenic match—variables that affect interpretation of the effects of a vaccine. Systematic reviews are the best way to perform such analyses, and provide powerful evidence weighted by the methodological quality of the studies involved. Large datasets containing several decades of observations help us to assess the performance of vaccines more accurately.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
I'm feeling a whole lot better about my decision not to flu vaccinate my asthmatic 2 yo.

No evidence to suggest it works any better than placebo in kids, and not shown effective in asthmatics.
Yeah... for those who don't have a subscription the relevant paragraph is
Quote:
The second problem is either the absence of evidence or the absence of convincing evidence on most of the effects at the centre of campaign objectives (table 2). In children under 2 years inactivated vaccines had the same field efficacy as placebo,8 and in healthy people under 65 vaccination did not affect hospital stay, time off work, or death from influenza and its complications.9 Reviews found no evidence of an effect in patients with asthma or cystic fibrosis, but inactivated vaccines reduced the incidence of exacerbations after three to four weeks by 39% in those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.12 13 19 All reviewers reported small data sets (such as 180 people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease13), which may explain the lack of demonstrable effect.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Reviews found no evidence of an effect in patients with asthma or cystic fibrosis
I just sent that link to dh, who gets his flu shot every year b/c he has asthma.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
and isn't he the one that gets this indefinable respiratory infections which look like flu but that they don't know what causes it?
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Evidence from systematic reviews shows that inactivated vaccines have little or no effect on the effects measured

Most studies are of poor methodological quality and the impact of confounders is high

Little comparative evidence exists on the safety of these vaccines

Reasons for the current gap between policy and evidence are unclear, but given the huge resources involved, a re-evaluation should be urgently undertaken


Quote:
The optimistic and confident tone of some predictions of viral circulation and of the impact of inactivated vaccines, which are at odds with the evidence, is striking. The reasons are probably complex and may involve "a messy blend of truth conflicts and conflicts of interest making it difficult to separate factual disputes from value disputes"22 or a manifestation of optimism bias (an unwarranted belief in the efficacy of interventions).23

Whatever the reasons, it is a sobering thought that Archie Cochrane's 1972 statement that we should use what has been tested and found to reach its objectives is as revolutionary now as it was then
post #10 of 25
What does BMJ stand for??
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangosink0 View Post
What does BMJ stand for??
British Medical Journal
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtezuma Tuatara View Post
and isn't he the one that gets this indefinable respiratory infections which look like flu but that they don't know what causes it?
Yep, it's a mystery ailment . . .
post #13 of 25
Ha! Hahaahahahahah!

I Knew It@!!!!
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca View Post
Ha! Hahaahahahahah!

I Knew It@!!!!
Me too!
post #15 of 25
I feel...vindicated.

There is hope for evidence based medicine yet!
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Is there? I mean really?

The cochrane review has churned out reviews on the flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccines in adults which show they don't work, for years now.

Meanwhile, every year, more are manufactured and more are sold...

How has evidence based medicine triumphed?

If it had triumphed, the flu and adult pneumococcal vaccines would have been removed from the market decades ago.

But as it stands every year, more and more doctors push for all ages to be jabbed and more and more sheep line up and roll their sleeves up.

Where is the victory for evidence based medicine?

Show me. I want to know.
post #17 of 25
I said there was hope.
I honestly was thinking it was so far gone that nothing like that would even be allowed to run in the BMJ, much less on the front page.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Oh. I thought you meant that there was hope that policy would be dictated to by the facts...
post #19 of 25
Two days ago I walked in our local grocery store ( Kroger) and was amazed to see the HUGE YELLOW AND RED sigh stating- YOU HAVE TO GET FLU VACCINE and you can get it here, call [this] number and schedule your appointment today! With this kind of ads and support for vax it is really hard to argue with ppl on vax safety and efficency. :
OT
Friend of mine has two kids, up till now- fully vaccinated, after speaking to me she started to do her own research. Yesterday I went to visit her, we were having a conversation and drinking hot tea. Her DH walked in from work and gave me THAT LOOK, you know?! Then he said: so, are you talking about vax here again? I said: a little bit. And he went on about me being crazy and that I must be from religious secta or something like that, cause vax are safe and effective everyone knows that- doctors wouldn't reccomend it to their babies. he would not listen to me ad I would not try really hard, cause it upsets me. I just said- I shared the info with your wife and you, and what you do about it- is your decision not mine. And then I left...
People are really blind and brainwashed.:
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
And I would have added to that " and if you are so positive of that, if.... IF... your child has a major problem with a vaccine please do not say that you were not warned that there are aspects to vaccination that should be researched and not assumed..."

I might have even been so nasty as to say. You have my phone number. If something does happen, and you ring me to ask help to sort out your custard, I will help, but don't be surprised if help comes after me saying "I told you so".
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