Family Life

Yay or Nay: Flu Vaccination

Elevated influenza-like illness visits are prompting some U.S. states to declare state of emergencies. Take a moment and be an educated patient before you run out for your flu vaccine.Flu Shot

Does the flu shot prevent the flu?

Over 200 viruses cause influenza and influenza-like illness and without a laboratory test, doctors cannot tell the two apart. According to Cochrane Summaries, “Influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost.” Basically, the flu shot may help under specific conditions but overall is pointless.

But the media says the flu vaccine is 50-70% effective. What gives?

Natural News discusses how the CDC manipulates statistics “to generate fear-based compliance with flu shot agenda” after they analyzed The Lancet study which concluded the flu vaccine only prevents the flu in 1.5 out of every 100 adults injected. The 49-70% effectiveness, depending on what study the media sourced, comes from the manipulating the numbers. Less that 3% of adults get the flu and about 1.2% of vaccinated adults will get the flu. So if you’re in the 3% and you got the flu shot, you have about a 50/50 chance of catching the flu. But that wouldn’t make people run out and get a flu shot so media manipulates the number to make the vaccine seem more appealing.

What about the elderly, kids, and those considered “at-risk”?

A recent study by the University of Minnesota suggests that seniors and children, commonly considered at risk, derive little or no benefit from getting flu shots after studying thousands of studies published over the last 45 years.

A small chance is better than nothing, right?

After reading all the data, you might still think the small chance to avoid flu, hospitals and even death is worth the slight pain of injection. But don’t forget to weigh the side effects and possible long-term complications into your equation and make the best educated decision for you and your family.

Do you plan to get or have you gotten your flu shot this year?
Flu shot image by USACE Europe District via flickr

By Angelia Embler

Angi grew up in southern Arizona but now lives in central New Mexico with her husband, two sons and four dogs. She creates, answers @Yoast support, and loves to ramble. Find her curled up with a book or watching her favorite TV shows, movies, or American football game. ?

28 replies on “Yay or Nay: Flu Vaccination”

The one and only time anyone in our family (my husband) has gotten the flu shot is the one and only year in all my married life (almost 15 years) that I can remember any of us having the flu. And yes, my husband had it first. So, nope! No flu shots here. Pointless and even counter-productive. Thanks for your post!

It looks like I am in the minority. I did have my children get it back in September. They are teenagers. I did not get it at first because I never get t he flu. When I heard about the epidemic I decided to get it a couple of weeks ago. I did not get sick. It’s hard to know who to believe.

I hear you. I sorted through so many references and picked ones that were more reliable than the others. There are some serious craziness about all vaccines and I wanted something trustworthy.

We won’t be getting the FLU shot this year, both my kids got sick last year after we got the shot. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will get lucky and not get sick. Thanks for the info.

I don’t plan on getting the flu shot nor would I let anyone give it to my kids. That might make a few in the family upset (nurses, bound and determined that anything and everything that is spouted by the modern medical community set in stone and totally truthful) but I don’t care. I am one of the mothers who have even decided to NOT vaccinate my children anymore. Especially after the extremely horrible experience we had w/our son at around 2 and how he was after that horrible experience (which by the way his reactions were listed on the CDC as severe but the wonderful doc said that nope they were normal).

And the ONLY time I EVER got the flu was when I got the shot. My GP at the time said that I did not need to get the shot ever again, unless I wanted to have another experience like that one. And, no, thank you… I wanted to just curl up and DIE for three weeks….. I felt HORRIBLE. It was even worse than when I was just starting school in the first grade and was sick with one thing after another and another…..

I haven’t gotten the flu shot. We had the flu last week. This year, it’s been tough for us with the flu. I can’t think of the last time I’ve had the flu before this winter season. I’m not really interested in getting the vaccine, but I understand there are people on either side of the argument for getting it or not getting it. I try to do my best to stay healthy. No one in my family is considered “at-risk”. I suppose, if anyone was in that category, I would take that into advisement and read more about it.
As it is, I had to endure “confessing” to doctors that I didn’t have the flu shot (and didn’t have my children vaccinated). I didn’t feel bad about it–and don’t. I’m not convinced that it would have prevented the flu at our house one way or the other. Sickness is a reality of life. We do our best with the information with know and believe (yes, there is faith in there). So much about medicine and about the way the body works is not fully understood. I want to learn as much as I can to be healthy (and provide infuse health into our family). I am open to modern medicine as well as home remedies. In the end, I put more stock into chicken soup, lots of rest, and a good dose of hand washing over a flu vaccine.

I have never had the flu vaccine, and neither has my two year old. He has received most of the standard vaccinations, except chicken pox and flu. At this point, I don’t find it necessary for anyone in my family.

I haven’t had the flu shot in years. The last time I had it, I became deathly ill. So I would never do that again. Every year the doctor’s advise me to give my kids the flu shot, but so far I haven’t.

That is always the doctor’s advise. Just get the shot..with of course..are you sure you don’t want it? Not to be too cynical but it is another thing they can bill the insurance for.

Well, while my kids have had most of their vaccinations, we’ve never done the flu vaccine. I guess I’m just not convinced of its efficacy yet. Too many I’ve known that got the vaccine and still ended up with the flu. I think it’s something you have weigh for your own family and make the best decision you can based on risks of getting it or not getting it.

We don’t take the flu shot because the one year my husband and daughter took they fell horribly ill. I know some people take it well but our family doesn’t. By God’s Grace we’ve been fine thus far.

My 16 month old got the flu shot, the rest of us did not. We do vaccinate, but not all of them…I don’t know why I chose the flu shot for my toddler when I didn’t do it for the rest of us. I guess maybe I got scared by the media and their death reports (including a healthy teenager that did get the flu shot). And that should never be a reason to or not to get a vaccination.

My son gets the flu shot because he has several issues with his lungs – from RSV as an infant to asthma & allergies. I took him to get the flu shot & four days later I was sick with the flu…murphy’s law?

Understandable that you’d be worried about the flu for your son. I hope he didn’t catch the flu as it takes about two weeks for the antibodies to reach full strength.

We don’t do the flu shot either. I know it’s cliche, but just about everyone we know who gets it also gets the flu. I think there are simply too many strains of the flu to create a 100% effective shot. I wish there were.

None of us in my family have ever had the flu vaccine, and I can’t say that we’ve ever had the flu, either. I have had only one illness in my life that may have been the flu. I have no intention of ever getting the flu vaccine for any of us. Studies have shown (I’m sorry, I don’t have the specific info in front of me) that more children have died from the flu since the US CDC started heavily recommending the vaccine for young children than did before that. So many people get the flu after getting the vaccine that my brother, who is still considered immuno-suppressed after cancer treatments, decided against getting it, even though his doctor suggested it.

And, for the record, while I would prefer to not vaccinate my children at all, they do have most of theirs. We also skip the varicella vaccine, along with a few others.

I don’t plan on getting the flu shot, nor do I ever plan on getting it. I believe in some vaccinations, but I don’t think all are needed and I don’t believe they can protect me from every strain of the flu, as there seems to be a new one every year.

I don’t plan on ever giving my children the flu vaccine and will never personally get it either. It’s like roulette – the vaccine only covers some strains, so if you happen to get the shot and then come in contact with a strain not included in the vaccine, you get the flu and the vaccine was for nothing. Yes, the flu stinks, but most healthy people get sick for a few days and then it passes. It’s not life threatening, as with the chicken pox, so I don’t see the point in a vaccine for the flu or the chicken pox personally.

No flu shot for us. The risks are higher then the benefits. Many people whom get the shot end up sick shortly after. Ths year they really missed on the strain anyways as many that have gotten the flu have had the shot. a healthy diet and some good habits have kept us flu free for years I see no reason to change.

First off, the Cochrance group has an anti-viral, anti-vaccine agenda. They claim to be a independant group, but take money from various places, and are beholden to their vested interests.

NaturalNews is to science, as to National Enquirer is to investigative journalism. They take a teeny tiny grain of truth, and spin it into something else. Mention that source to anyone with a science education, and they laugh and call it a tin foil hat site.

Did you read and understand the study from University of Minnesota? The reason that seniors don’t benefit from the vaccine, is because their immune system is different from others. They actually need about twice the dose to make it work. There are studies that have just shown, that is the case, and they are making vaccines just for seniors.

I take it from what you have written that you are anti-vaccine. That would be your choice. But, the problem with that, is that others around you pay for that choice.

I do see some reports on NaturalNews can be conflicting however they have been given to us by our children’s Integrated Medicine Pediatrician.

As to the reliability of The Cochrane Group they do not appear biased when it comes to articles published on them.

A 2004 editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal noted that Cochrane reviews appear to be more updated and of better quality than other reviews and due to their standardized methodologies, was “the best single resource for methodological research and for developing the science of meta-epidemiology.” Their work has also led to methodological improvements in the medical literature.

Several other features on them mention that they do not accept commercial funding from any participant in a Cochrane study which seems to be similar to what the CEO has said and is also stated on “We do not accept commercial or conflicted funding – this is vital for us to generate authoritative and reliable information, produced by people who can work freely, unconstrained by commercial and financial interests.”

The University of Minnesota study shows that the current form of vaccine is not effective for those groups. You also mentioned they are making vaccinations just for seniors. While they may be making some small batches try calling your doctor or even some of the shot clinics in your area and see if they have that available.

We are not anti-vaccine in fact our children have all of their vaccinations except for Chicken Pox and Influenza.

Conflicting reports on NaturalNews? They may be conflicting, but they are in no way scientifically accurate. I would question any doctor that referred me to them.
This is the problem I have with the Cochrane article. People are using it to justify not getting flu shots. What they don’t realize is that the scientific community has issues with the group. There is a downside to meta-anayisis. You see they are presuming (in this article) that the differences are due to chance, when in fact, it is due to many things- like differences in treatments,populations, study design and study quality. By doing this they may generate misleading results by ignoring meaningful herorogeneity among studies, thereby adding biases and introducing biases by the process of selecting studies and results of those studies. Which in turn, leads to the conclusions they reached. There is a reason that people use this as a justification to not get flu shots. That is exactly what this group intended it to do.
They take money from the WHO, the Chinese goverment, among many others. Any group that takes money from someone is well aware of who is supporting them, and most won’t go against their financial backers.

For the past decade I have talked to some of the world’s best virologists, doctors and authors on the subject of influenza. If you want true scientific artlicles about vaccines, the flu, etc. I would strongly recommend Nature Journal. It publishes peer-reviewed studies.

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