At least in children. Not only did it not prevent flu, it resulted in TRIPLE the risk of ending up in hospital.
That’s DANGEROUS in my book (hospitals are the last place you want to be).
So they’ve withdrawn flu vaccine recommendations for kids, right?
Not likely: there’s money in them thar hills! You think out of your crazy mind that they would let go of a cash cow, just because it hurts kids and does not fulfill it’s commercial claims? No way.
Enough sarcasm. What’s the calm, scientific position?
In a paper at the at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego (May 19, 2009), research following 263 children over eight consecutive flu seasons was presented, testing whether flu vaccine was effective in reducing the number of hospitalizations. The children were evaluated at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Each child was from six months to 18 years of age and each had had laboratory-confirmed influenza, between 1996 to 2006.
The investigators determined who had and had not received the flu vaccine and who did and did not require hospitalization. Records were reviewed for each subject with influenza-related illness for flu vaccination preceding the illness and hospitalization during that illness. There was especial interest in the status of children with asthma.
They found that children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization, as compared to children who had not received the vaccine.
Moreover, in asthmatic children, there was a significantly higher risk of hospitalization in subjects who received the TIV, as compared to those who did not (p= 0.006). TIV vaccine (trivalent inactivated flu vaccine) has unknown effects on asthmatics.
But all’s well in the accounting department; we can ignore these inconvenient facts, according to Avni Joshi, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. “This study was aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the TIV in children overall, as well as the children with asthma, to prevent influenza-related hospitalization.”
“While these findings do raise questions about the efficacy of the vaccine, they do not in fact implicate it as a cause of hospitalizations,” said Dr. Joshi. “More studies are needed to assess not only the immunogenicity, but also the efficacy of different influenza vaccines in asthmatic subjects.”
So, the usual cant of “more studies needed”, giving the manufacturers years more of profits.
Meantime, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) continue to recommend that you put your child at TRIPLE THE RISK by stupid and worthless flu vaccines. The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (3rd revision) is right up there with the clowns and criminals, recommending annual flu vaccination of asthmatic children older than six months.
Ooops, back to the sarcasm again… Sorry!