Flu season is upon us again — the time of year when the steady message is "Have you gotten your flu shot yet?" Considering the many studies showing flu vaccines offer minimal protection against illness even when well-matched to circulating viral strains, the fact that vaccination continues to be touted as your first line of defense against influenza suggests this annual campaign is more about generating conformity for profit rather than actually improving and protecting public health.
Questionable Data Used to Support Annual Flu Vaccination Campaigns
Statistics reveal that in most years, flu shots are at best 50 to 60 percent effective at preventing lab confirmed type A or B influenza requiring medical care.1 In the decade between 2005 and 2015, the influenza vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time.2
The 2017/2018 flu vaccine was a perfect example of this trend. The overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B virus infection was just 36 percent.3
According to a 2014 meta-analysis,4 71 people have to be vaccinated in order for a single case of influenza to be avoided — a ratio that speaks to the ineffectiveness of this annual routine. Adding insult to injury, evidence5 (which was confirmed three years later6) suggests flu vaccination may double your risk of contracting pandemic influenza or a more serious bout of influenza.
Research7 published in 2011 also warned the seasonal flu vaccine appears to weaken children's immune systems and increases their chances of getting sick from influenza viruses not included in the vaccine.
When blood samples from healthy, unvaccinated children and children who had received an annual flu shot were compared, the unvaccinated group had naturally built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains compared to the vaccinated group.8
Evidence also shows you can get vaccinated, show few or no symptoms and still shed and transmit influenza to other people.9,10 Flu vaccines are also associated with debilitating and potentially lifelong side effects such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and chronic shoulder injury related to vaccine administration.
2018/2019 Flu Season Brings Back Failed Nasal Spray Vaccine
Flu vaccines are by their nature a tricky business because influenza viruses are constantly evolving and public health officials have to guess at least six months before the flu season starts which type A and B influenza virus strains might end up being predominant so drug companies can manufacture the vaccines.