Dr. Weeks’ Comment: The flu shot has never been a scientifically validated intervention. Now criticism is reaching a fever pitch but your doctors may not know the following information.
“… Although this year’s vaccine covers the H3N2 virus, there still isn’t a match. Fewer than half (48%) of the 103 samples of the H3N2 flu virus tested since October 1 are closely related to the strains the government chose this year…”
Government Says This Year’s Flu Shot Is a Dud—But Still Won’t Allow Any Discussion of Natural Alternatives
December 9, 2014
They’re also telling doctors to supplement with drugs that don’t work and have terrible side effects. This is the same government that wasted billions stockpiling these very drugs.
The flu shot is not a static formulation. It changes each year based on the World Health Organization’s assessment of which flu virus strains (usually three or four) will be the most prevalent that season. The CDC is admitting that the flu shots distributed this year may not be a good match for the viruses currently in circulation.
This year’s vaccines protect against two types of influenza A viruses (one H1N1 and one H3N2) as well as one or two influenza B viruses. But so far this flu season, the strains most active in the US are versions of H3N2 viruses. And in seasons when H3 viruses predominate, says Dr. Tom Frieden of the CDC, there tend to be more hospitalizations and more deaths from the flu.
Of course, as we have pointed out previously, when the CDC speaks of deaths from the flu, they really mean respiratory illnesses in general including the real killer, pneumonia. They like to speak of “flu deaths” because that promotes the flu shot.
Although this year’s vaccine covers the H3N2 virus, there still isn’t a match. Fewer than half (48%) of the 103 samples of the H3N2 flu virus tested since October 1 are closely related to the strains the government chose this year. The CDC’s explanation? The H3N2 strain being targeted by the vaccine has mutated (called “drift”).
That’s right: this year’s flu shot will provide no protection whatsoever against more than half of the deadliest flu viruses currently in circulation. The CDC’s solution doesn’t help matters. They advise doctors to supplement with Tamiflu and Relenza —and the earlier the better, as soon as you become ill, if possible.
There is so much wrong with this scenario that it’s hard to know where to begin. Even in a good year, with better matches, there are arguments why the vaccine doesn’t work:
- Influenza A (including H1N1 and H3N2) and B represent about 10% of all circulating viruses.Only 2.7% of all non-vaccinated adults get type A or B influenza each year. As noted above, the CDC wildly exaggerates the number of hospitalizations and deaths that result from flu.
- According to The Lancet, the flu vaccine in any given year is only 62% effective in preventing type A or B influenza, and doesn’t protect at all against norovirus and whooping cough.
- At best, the vaccine will fail 38% of the time—which means it really benefits only about 1.8% of the population. This is in an average year, not a year with poor matches such as this one.
- This year’s flu vaccine won’t even touch 52% of the H3N2 strains in circulation this year. Add this to the vaccine’s usual failure rate and it becomes an epic fail.
- The CDC recommends supplementing the vaccine with Tamiflu and Relenza as soon as you become sick—despite the fact that Relenza has been shown to reduce rates of infection by only 8%, and Tamiflu’s manufacturer withheld vital data that suggested the drug is no more effective than aspirin. Billions of taxpayer dollars were wasted because the US stockpiled over 37 million doses of the useless drugs—and they still have a lot to get rid of.
- A recent analysis found that both drugs are mostly ineffective: when taken at onset, they shorten the duration of symptoms of influenza-like illness (unconfirmed influenza or “the flu”) by only half a day, and have no effect on hospitalizations for flu. They have no effect on asymptomatic influenza, so taking them before symptoms appear, as the CDC urges, would seem to be useless.
- The same study showed that Tamiflu, when used as a preventive measure, was associated with nausea, vomiting, headaches, renal, and psychiatric events. Its effect on the heart was unclear: it may reduce cardiac symptoms, but may induce serious heart rhythm problems.
Even some mainstream media outlets are beginning to recognize that the flu vaccine simply doesn’t work very well. NBC reports that people who get vaccinated each year may actually have less protection than those who don’t: a University of Michigan study found that people vaccinated two years in a row didn’t seem protected against the flu at all. And Bloomberg recently reported that the Novartis flu vaccine was linked to one serious illness and three deaths in Italy. The country has suspended use of the vaccine.
The flu vaccine in the US also notoriously contains mercury (thimerosal) and other potentially toxic ingredients. It is routinely given to pregnant women and to infants, despite the mercury content.
Maintaining proper levels of vitamin D in your system is easily the most effective way to prevent the flu. We discuss this at length in our White Paper on vitamin D. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that schoolchildren who were given vitamin D3 supplements were42% less likely to get infected with seasonal flu than those who had taken a placebo.
The nonprofit Vitamin D Council says adults should take between 5,000 and 10,000 IU of D3 daily for optimum health. The organization offers a home test kit to make sure your blood serum levels of vitamin D are in the proper range.
Vitamin A is directly antiviral and is an excellent treatment for the flu at onset. The sooner you take it, the better. This and other remedies are discussed in our earlier article on natural antivirals.