Flu Vaccine Likely Raises Your Risk of Illness
The fact that flu vaccines offer negligible protection against the flu is bad enough, but evidence suggests the vaccine may even make you more susceptible to the disease. For example, Canadian researchers found that annual flu vaccination appears to increase your risk of pandemic illness, and cause more serious bouts of illness.
Data collected from Canada and Hong Kong during 2009-2010 showed that people who received the seasonal flu vaccine in 2008 had twice the risk of getting the H1N1 “swine flu,” compared to those who had not received a flu shot.
A well-publicized ferret study24 confirmed these results. Research25 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. Some health experts claim flu vaccination will help you develop resistance against strains that are not included in the vaccine, but research has actually shown the complete opposite to be true.
When blood samples from healthy, unvaccinated children and children who had received an annual flu shot were compared, the former unvaccinated group had naturally built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains compared to the latter vaccinated group. 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 (SIRVA).
But what about the claim that you might contract influenza from your flu shot? There are many anecdotal reports of people developing the worst bout of influenza they’ve ever had, following a routine flu vaccination, and indeed, a Chinese study27 published in 2012 appears to support such claims, finding that children had a 4.4 higher chance of contracting a viral upper respiratory infection following seasonal flu vaccine administration.
It’s also worth noting that double-blind, placebo-controlled trials for vaccines are not done. Instead, all a vaccine trial needs to demonstrate in order for the vaccine to be licensed is an antibody response.28
Researchers have also highlighted the influence of bias in studies looking at influenza vaccine effectiveness. As noted in one 2010 study,” Forgoing vaccination predicted death in those who had received vaccinations in the previous five years, but it predicted survival in patients who had never before received a vaccination. We conclude that bias is inherent in studies of influenza vaccination and death among elderly patients.”
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P Carrothers
Dir Preventative and Restorative Medicine