Letters to the Editor

Flu vaccine statistics don’t add up

A study recently published in The Lancet (thelancet.com/journals) reveals that flu shots only prevent influenza in 1.5 out of every 100 adults. Tao those who are familiar with vaccine literature, this comes as no surprise. What is interesting, however, is that the Centres for Disease Control and the corporate media are interpreting the study as proof that flu vaccines are 60 per cent effective. So let’s examine the study to see how this spin transpired.

This was a meta analysis, meaning that the researchers used data from 28 previously published random controlled trials between 1967 and 2011. The control group, n=13,095, consisted of non-vaccinated adults who were monitored to see if they got confirmed influenza. Over 97 per cent of them did not. Only 357 got flu which means that 2.73 per cent of these adults got the flu in the first place.

The treatment group comprised adults who were vaccinated with a trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine. According to the study, 1.18 per cent got the flu.

The difference between these two groups (2.73 – 1.18) is 1.5 people out of 100. In other words, the flu vaccine did nothing for 98.5 per cent of adults in the studies.

So where did the media get 60 per cent effective? It’s called lying with statistics. First you take the 2.73 per cent in the control group who got flu and you divide that figure into the 1.18 per cent of the treatment group who got the flu. This gives you 0.43.

You then say that 0.43 is 43 per cent of 2.73 and claim that the vaccine results in a 57 per cent decrease in flu infections. This becomes the 60 per cent effectiveness claim.

Now even if you don’t understand statistics, common sense will tell you comparing 2.73 per cent non-vaccinated who got the flu with 1.8 per cent vaccinated who got the flu, shows very little difference.

Medical practitioners tout that they practice “evidence-based” medicine or nursing. So all those who are so willing to inject mercury containing vaccines into people under the delusion that they are forwarding public health, and those nursing instructors at Selkirk College who mandate that nursing students get a flu shot, should be required to submit the scientific evidence for their decisions.

J.L. Craig, BSN, Ph.D



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