Fighting the Flu Year Round

You would think that by this time of year the influenza season in the United States would be far from over.  Sadly, last week’s flu activity proves otherwise.

Although the amount of flu in the U.S. has been decreasing, there was still an additional pediatric death reported last week, bringing the total number of pediatric deaths from influenza this season up to 139.  Out of the 2,416 specimens that were tested and reported just last week, 124 (5.1%) were positive for influenza.  In reviewing the cumulative data from this current season, it’s also noted that the rate of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations this season has occurred among 44 per 100,000 people.

When you factor in the likelihood of additional unconfirmed cases, you can see that – despite what many people may thinkthe flu can be dangerous.  And the dangers don’t just lie with those who have underlying medical conditions.  This year, 46% of the children hospitalized with the flu had no identified underlying medical conditions.

Can you imagine how devastating it must be for families to lose their perfectly healthy children to influenza? 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne family, whose lives where forever changed when they lost their four-year old daughter Amanda, is currently spearheading a Challenge Campaign to help provide funds to Families Fighting Flu and create a new public awareness campaign called Stay in the Game.  This campaign is an ambitious effort to educate others by means of print, broadcast and social media which will focus on the seriousness of influenza and the importance of annual vaccination, particularly among pregnant women, new moms, families, educators and health care providers.

In order to fulfill the expectations for this campaign, they must secure an additional $30,000 in funds by July 1st.  So, for every donation made to Families Fighting Flu between now and July 1st, Amanda’s parents Alissa and Richard Kanowitz, have generously offered to match funds, dollar-for-dollar, up to $15,000 in order to secure the $30,000 they need.  If you would like to contribute a tax-deductible donation for their Stay in the Game campaign, as I have done, simply visit their website here.

Unfortunately, while the Kanowitz family and many other Families Fighting Flu members continue their monumental efforts to increase influenza vaccinations, states like Wisconsin are trying to make it easier for healthcare workers to forego flu vaccines.  Despite the research that suggests influenza vaccination among health care workers is a critical way to reduce the transmission of the flu, as well as flu related illness and death, Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt of Wisconsin is currently sponsoring a bill that would restrict employers from requiring workers to get flu shots.

While the bill was allegedly drafted after complaints from workers who were fired on account of refusing the shots, it is disturbing to know that these health care workers don’t feel it is part of their job responsibility to help reduce the transmission of influenza in every way possible.  As hospitals, nursing homes and other health care agencies are tasked with the challenge of protecting patients and promoting good health, laws like the one being considered in Wisconsin may actually interfere with an employer’s ability to reduce the likelihood of influenza transmission, especially among extremely vulnerable populations like the sick and elderly.

So folks it’s up to us – concerned citizens, parents and co-workers – to help ensure that the public realizes the dangers of influenza and takes the necessary steps to help prevent it through seasonal influenza vaccinations.  We can take action by supporting strong immunization policies and legislation, and we can give to organizations like Families Fighting Flu.  Please consider making a donation and sharing this video below to help fund the fight against the flu.

  1. Seal
    May 22, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    The flu vaccine is awful and ineffective. Don’t do it.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3037

    Like

  2. Chris
    May 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    That reads like an opinion piece. And what is really bad is that it took a bit of work, but I finally found out what Mr. Doshi’s educational background is:

    The author is in the doctoral program in History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

    I am not impressed. What I would find impressive is that you, Seal, come up with actual scientific evidence that the influenza vaccine is worse than the disease, and has killed at least 139 people this year. That number comes from the second paragraph of the article on this page.

    Like

  3. May 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    The flu shot is not awful. IF you are one of the ones who get flu LIKE symptoms of well, at least you aren’t transmitting the flu to children or already sick patients. It’s part of the job, get the shot or leave

    Like

  4. Nadine Blair, RN, BSN
    May 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    The flu epidemic of 1918 killed more people than WWI and WWII combined. The only reason this event has not been repeated is because of vaccines. The best medicine is effective prevention.

    Like

  5. Seal
    May 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    That’s the problem Nadine, the flu vaccine is not preventitive medicine. It is hardly effective and not worht the risk of injury.

    http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD001269/vaccines-to-prevent-influenza-in-healthy-adults

    http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD004879/vaccines-for-preventing-influenza-in-healthy-children

    Like

  6. Seal
    May 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm
  7. Seal
    May 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm
  8. Seal
    May 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm
  9. Seal
    May 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm
  10. Seal
    May 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Japan did clinical trials 30 years ago with flu shots. They gave 100% flu shots to one big city and none to another, and they discovered the flu shot did not work. Now they use other preventitive methods like D3 and diet etc.

    Like

  11. novalox
    May 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    @seal

    You do know that almost everything you posted were opinion pieces, not actual scientific papers?

    Also, [citation needed] for the Japan piece that you put up.

    Like

  12. dingo199
    May 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Seal :
    The flu vaccine is awful and ineffective. Don’t do it.
    http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3037

    I looked in vain through that opinion piece for evidence that its author claimed flu vaccines were “awful and ineffective” and found nothing to suggest it.

    Perhaps Seal would presumably approve if I quoted this particular study which shows flu vaccine is wonderful and effective?
    http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3037
    Get vaccinated – it could save a life.

    Like

  13. May 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Seal :
    The flu vaccine is awful and ineffective. Don’t do it.
    http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3037

    I looked in vain through that opinion piece for evidence that its author claimed flu vaccines were “awful and ineffective” and found nothing to suggest it.

    Perhaps Seal would presumably approve if I quoted this particular study which shows flu vaccine is wonderful and effective?
    http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3037
    Get vaccinated – it could save your life.

    Like

  14. dingo199
    May 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    ??? I said that.

    I find it odd how often the Nirvana fallacy is deployed with flu vaccine.
    We know it is around 60-65% effective. However, this isn’t sufficient for the antivax tagteams. As far as they are concerned, if it ain’t perfect, it must be useless.
    I just hope that if they get ill, their doctors don’t use the same logic and decide not to bother treating their meningitis with antibiotics.

    Like

  15. dingo199
    May 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Re Japan:
    Data from the years when Japan required mandated annual flu vaccinations for school-aged children indicate that vaccinating children—the group most likely to catch and spread the disease—has a strikingly positive effect on reducing mortality among older people, due to herd immunity: one life saved for every 420 children who received the flu vaccine.
    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM200103223441204

    Like

  16. dingo199
    May 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    It also seems that when mandatory vaccination of schoolkids was stopped in Japan, that deaths rose sharply from influenza encephalopathy.

    Another important report supported the effectiveness of the universal vaccination program for schoolchildren [3]. Until the 1980s, the reports of influenza-associated encephalopathy were rare in Japan. However, after 1994, when universal vaccination was stopped, the incidence of influenza encephalopathy increased sharply, and more than 100 encephalopathy deaths were reported annually during 1995–1999 [5–7]. A total of 783 young children were estimated to die of influenza encephalopathy during the 11 years from 1990 through 2000 [3]. The increased mortality among young children was attributable to the reduction in vaccine coverage rates among schoolchildren.

    http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/53/2/130.full

    Like

  17. dingo199
    May 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    And from the same paper is the reference to the study Seal cited.

    An influential report in which the authors concluded that the universal vaccination of schoolchildren was much less effective in reducing absenteeism in schools during influenza epidemics convinced the Japanese government to stop its mass vaccination program for schoolchildren [11]. The authors compared the absentee rates during 2 consecutive influenza seasons (1983–1985) in schools in Maebashi City, where mass vaccination had been totally abandoned, and schools in a neighboring city, Takasaki City, where vaccination was strongly recommended (vaccine coverage rate, 85%). The results revealed that the effectiveness of influenza vaccination in reducing school absenteeism was only 5% during the influenza B epidemic of 1983–1984 and 27% in the influenza A (H3N2) epidemic of 1984–1985. It was a large study that included the >40,000 pupils in all of the elementary schools in the 2 cities.

    But as predicted, he tells only a partial truth. Seal said that “it did not work” when what was studied was absenteeism rates, not vaccine efficacy. And he neglected to present all the evidence, more of which supports the vaccination of kids:

    Another report, however, suggested that the mass vaccination of schoolchildren in Japan was effective [4, 12]. The authors of that report investigated the vaccine coverage rates and the percentages of class cancellation in every school in Nara City during the influenza B epidemic of 1981–1982, and the results showed a definite decrease in the percentage of class cancellations in schools in which the vaccine coverage rate was >50%. However, even this study reported only slight effectiveness of influenza vaccination in reducing absenteeism in the schools.

    So it isn’t fantastic at reducing absenteeism; this was thought to relate to the Japanese ethic of never missing work/school, even when ill. But we know it saved kids lives, so that’s good reason to give it.

    Like

  18. Robin
    May 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Nadine,
    That’s not true at all. The reason the 1918 flu was so devastating was that the H1N1 virus was completely new at that time, and no one had any immune resistance to it. There has never been as devastating a flu since that time because the viral components are remixed and recycled in different ways, but it has never again been a completely new virus. There were flu epidemics in 1956 and 1968 that were bad, but not devastating, at a time when no one got flu vaccines. My father was paralyzed for the last three years of his life by a flu vaccine, and lost his voice for a month right after getting it. I’d always rather just get the flu, and then I have partial immunity to future recombinations. Elderberry syrup and echinacea, homeopathic oscillococcinum and bryonia work great for me when I have the flu.

    Like

  19. Robin
    May 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Great job, Seal!

    Like

  20. novalox
    May 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    @robin

    [citation needed]

    Like

  21. May 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    @Robin – care to cite even one citation? And the 1918 Flu virus wasn’t H1N1 either…..

    Like

  22. Chris
    May 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Seal, that 160 page pdf only mentioned deaths caused by the actual disease. So what evidence do you have that the vaccine causes at least 139 deaths in one year?

    Also, dear sock puppet, just choose a name and stick to it. The self-praising is pathetic.

    Like

  23. K.
    May 22, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Wikipedia article on 1918 flu epidemic says in first line that it was H1N1, the second H1N1 epidemic being in 2009: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic
    The 1918 flu was so deadly because of the peculiar structure of its hemagglutinin spike on the membrane, this allowed it to bind to human cells. Its novel protein structure made it very destructive: Gamblin Science March 19 2004; 303 (5665): 1838-1842.
    It takes a completely new virus to start a pandemic: in 1918 it was the H1 virus, in 1957 the H2 Asian flu virus was completely new, and in 1968 in the Hong Kong flu it was H3 that was completely new.
    Most deaths from the Spanish flu were from too vigorous a response from the host’s immune system, not knowing how to combat something completely new. The attempt to attack the virus is so dramatic that it floods the lungs with fluids in its excessive inflammatory response, killing the host with its vigor.

    Like

  24. K.
    May 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Zakay-Rones Journal J Interntl Medical Research 2004 March-April 32 (2): 132-140. Randomised study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections.
    Also by Zakay Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. J Alternatives and Complementary Medicine 1995 winter; 1(40: 361-369.

    Elderberry syrup marketed as Sambucol excellent treatment for viral diseases. Why risk adverse reactions to the flu vaccine?

    Like

  25. Chris
    May 22, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    K. (just find a name and stick to it): “Most deaths from the Spanish flu were from too vigorous a response from the host’s immune system, not knowing how to combat something completely new. ”

    All more the reason to prevent influenza through vaccination, and doing research to get better vaccines.

    Like

  26. Seal
    May 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Seems like I am being blocked…..??

    Like

  27. Chris
    May 22, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Join the club. So did you find the evidence that the vaccine so much more dangerous than the disease that it killed more than 139 people in a year?

    Like

  28. Seal
    May 22, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    test email

    Like

  29. Chris
    May 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    By the way, I keep raising the number of deaths required to show the vaccine is more dangerous than the disease as more kids die of influenza (they are all verified by lab tests). Just a few months ago it was “only” 59:
    https://shotofprevention.com/2013/02/08/vaccine-safety-and-efficacy-begins-with-science/#comment-21395

    So, all you have to do, Seal, is provide the PubMed Identification Number to the study that shows the vaccine killed 139 people in one year. You can do that, right?

    Like

  30. dingo199
    May 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Robin :
    Great job, Seal!

    Where I used to work, a job was something you dumped in the dunny.

    Like

  31. Mr Michaels the third
    May 23, 2013 at 7:43 am

    dingo199 :
    ??? I said that.
    I find it odd how often the Nirvana fallacy is deployed with flu vaccine.
    We know it is around 60-65% effective. However, this isn’t sufficient for the antivax tagteams. As far as they are concerned, if it ain’t perfect, it must be useless.
    I just hope that if they get ill, their doctors don’t use the same logic and decide not to bother treating their meningitis with antibiotics.

    Let me share a little something with you since you are the one who is steeped in fallacy dingo.

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/comments.cfm?tbid=38689

    Read it then read my comment which has gone unanswered by the esteemed elite keepers of knowledge. Let me help you because it highlights how flawed your own proponents are in logic.

    “I am a little confused. Perhaps the eminent scientists doing this or other vaccine research can clarify for me. In flu vaccine studies, the incidence rate of flu was approximately 2.6 cases per 100 participants in the placebo group and 1.8 cases per 100 in the subject group. We were all told that this amounted to 60% efficacy. Now, with the HIV vaccine, assuming that the breakdown was 50% placebo/50% vaccinated, there were a total of 41 cases in the vaccination group and 30 cases in the placebo group. Translating that down to cases per 100 participant, we end up with 3.28 cases per 100 in the vaccinated group and 2.4 cases per 100 in the placebo group. Applying the logic of the flu vaccine propaganda, this is CERTAINLY statistically significant, is it not? 33% MORE HIV cases in the vaccinated group is HUGE. Why is it that science can no longer objectively report results?”

    Like

  32. Mr Michaels the third
    May 23, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Just to clarify, I have previously argued that the 60% efficacy claim was based on flawed analysis of the flu vaccine study results. In the HIV case, the claim was made that, “The difference between the study arms was not statistically significant and doesn’t mean the vaccine increased the risk of HIV infections, commented Mitchell Warren, executive director of the New York-based vaccine advocacy group AVAC.

    The outcome is “disappointing,” Warren said in a statement, but it highlights the need to continue vaccine research.”

    So why is the same ratio of a negative result “statistically insignificant” but the same ratio of a positive result is “proof” of efficacy? And yes, the question in rhetorical because you will only give a nonsensical answer, make a stupid accusation that you yourself are guilty of or bury your head in the sand and pretend that no information has been provided when it has. How sad and amusing it is to deal with such predictability.

    Here’s the article link, but the way:

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/HIVAIDS/HIVAIDS/38689?isalert=1

    Like

  33. Christine Vara
    May 23, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Seal and all other participants:
    Please accept our apologies as we appear to be experiencing sporadic issues with the WordPress server and the comment system. Sometimes (as can be noted by many participants on this site) comments will not post as they should. Unfortunately, we do not get alerted to this. We only know when you tell us through the comments that DO post. These “lost” comments do not go into moderation. They just seem to disappear. Admins don’t see them and this is what is making it more difficult for us to address the issue since we can’t assess why they may just be showing up within the system. WordPress has been contacted but so far has been unable to assist us in isolating the cause of this issue.

    To complicate matters, there are people like Mr. Michaels, who due to past behavior and repeated disregard for our policies, have been banned from participating on this forum. Yet, they return with new names and email addresses. Which means we must address this through the WordPress system. We suspect that this is contributing to the problems YOU are having in getting YOUR comment posted.

    Therefore, if a person has been banned from commenting and returns with different names and email addresses, we reserve the right to enforce their ban and remove their comments even if they have successfully posted. This action is not being taken to stifle conversation, but actually to allow greater access to everyone and anyone who will abide by the policies.

    Thank you for your continued patience regarding this matter.

    Like

  34. K.
    May 23, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Chris,
    Except that immunity which may or may not be induced by the vaccine is far less effective and long-lasting than natural immunity from having had the actual disease. They said four years ago that older people were less likely to be severely affected by the H1N1 flu of that time because those who had been alive at the time of the 1976 flu (of Guillain-Barré infamy) had some degree of immunity to some of the components of that flu. Or it might have been because older people don’t have as vigorous immune systems to attack the invader cost what it may as younger people do. Everyone alive in 1918 and subsequently had antibodies for the rest of their lives to that flu.

    Meaning that there is no substitute for the struggle between good and ill waged by the immune system against disease. Vaccine immunity is a trick which has many unintended adverse effects on the immune system. Death or permanent disability are not uncommon results of the vaccines. The quality of the vaccine immunity is far inferior to natural immunity, and is not going to protect the bearer from the same or similar diseases thirty or forty years down the line. It is up to every individual to research the risks and benefits very carefully before attempting to make what seems to be the best decision for his or her individual genetic makeup and circumstances. Death or disability are possible outcomes on either side. I personally have never gotten nor will ever take a flu vaccine, and I know that is the best decision for me and my family.

    Like

  35. May 23, 2013 at 11:40 am

    @K – except you’ve provided exactly ZERO evidence for your assertions.

    Like

  36. Chris
    May 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    K., since the influenza virus mutates every year, how do you get permanent immunity from all of the variations after getting one?

    Also, please provide the PubMed indexed study that shows any influenza vaccine presently used has caused more than 139 deaths in one year by a reputable researcher. For instance not Mark Geier who recently had his license to practice medicine in Hawaii revoked.

    By the way, as a college student I volunteered to get the test vaccines in 1976. There were two, the swine flu (NJ), and the other one (Hong Kong). I would be one of those older persons immune to H1N1 because I had a vaccine for it almost forty years ago.

    Like

  37. Chris
    May 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Also, getting that test vaccine for swine flu probably protected me from the Russian flu that hit a couple of years later. I was healthy while my husband was horribly sick. Trust me, I much prefer getting immunity from a vaccine instead of the actual disease.

    Like

  38. May 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    @Chris – despite treading close to “Godwin” I will say that K’s argument seems very much like a typical “eugenics” assertion….that which doesn’t kill us, obviously makes us stronger (and those that die or become disabled are acceptable losses).

    Like

  39. Chris
    May 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I tried to ignore that part, because it makes me angry. It is bad enough that she/he wants kids to suffer with fever, aches, etc instead of preventing a disease with a vaccine that is much safer. Remember this person is okay dokay with people eating stuff containing cyanide (comment 255 of that thread contains links with case reports of folks getting cyanide poisoning from apricot pits).

    Still waiting for the evidence that the vaccine is worse than the disease, a disease that has killed over a hundred children in the USA this year.

    Like

  40. May 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    139 deaths from the flu. Even worse…. that is 139 pediatric deaths from the flu, and it doesn’t even factor in adult deaths (we know the elderly are a known at-risk group for complications as a result of the flu).

    Now I won’t attempt to claim if everyone was vaccinated that these children would still be alive, but if we assume the efficacy of the flu vaccine is 60%… or perhaps even if we only consider it to be 50%, that may have resulted in 69 lives saved.

    69 children. Think about that for a while before you claim the flu vaccine is ‘worthless’ or that it is ‘ineffective’. I challenge anyone who is complaining about flu vaccines to show us a citation which indicates 69 children have been killed from complications of the flu vaccine so far this year.

    Heck I’ll even do one better – show us a citation where 69 children have been killed by the flu vaccine in all of 2010, 2011, or 2012. If you are so sure the vaccine is awful then I can only assume your opinion is supported by some amount of evidence… thus it should not be difficult for you to share that evidence should it?

    *crickets*

    Like

  41. May 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    @Costner – even the Cochrane Report, which has been used by anti-vaccine talking heads to bash the flu vaccine, explicitly states that the Influenza Vaccine is perhaps the safest vaccine in use today…..and research towards a more “Universal” Flu vaccine should, in the long run, make yearly vaccinations unnecessary.

    Like

  42. dingo199
    May 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Mr Michaels the third :
    Let me share a little something with you since you are the one who is steeped in fallacy dingo.
    http://www.medpagetoday.com/comments.cfm?tbid=38689
    Read it then read my comment which has gone unanswered by the esteemed elite keepers of knowledge. Let me help you because it highlights how flawed your own proponents are in logic.
    “I am a little confused. Perhaps the eminent scientists doing this or other vaccine research can clarify for me. In flu vaccine studies, the incidence rate of flu was approximately 2.6 cases per 100 participants in the placebo group and 1.8 cases per 100 in the subject group. We were all told that this amounted to 60% efficacy. Now, with the HIV vaccine, assuming that the breakdown was 50% placebo/50% vaccinated, there were a total of 41 cases in the vaccination group and 30 cases in the placebo group. Translating that down to cases per 100 participant, we end up with 3.28 cases per 100 in the vaccinated group and 2.4 cases per 100 in the placebo group. Applying the logic of the flu vaccine propaganda, this is CERTAINLY statistically significant, is it not? 33% MORE HIV cases in the vaccinated group is HUGE. Why is it that science can no longer objectively report results?”

    1. I am not surprised you are confused. In fact I would say you are more than “a little” confused.

    2. You clearly fail to understand probabilities and significance. Even when the study states at least twice that the result is not statistically significant, you claim it is.
    I’ll give you a clue…the number of people studied and the number who develop the outcome is relevant. If you have trouble understanding this, tell me whether you regard a study where 1 patient out of 5 study subjects gets the disease on Drug A versus 2 people out of 5 on placebo as being statistically significant? It does after all show a 50% reduction in disease.
    And now tell whether a study in which 400 people on Drug B out of 1000 get disease while 700 out of 1000 on placebo get disease shows a significant benefit for the drug in preventing the disease? If you agree it does, would you conclude drug A which causes a 50% reduction is better than drug B, which causes only a 43% reduction?

    3. You don’t need to answer if you don’t want to – we can infer what you would conclude. All I really want to know is whether you can see a glimmer of enlightenment and understanding to see why you are wrong in your assessment of the study drugs and what is significant.

    4. You even managed to get the numbers wrong in the study you cite. You don’t count those infected with HIV before the study intervention (vaccination), obviously.

    Like

  43. Sam
    May 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Costner – you have no credibility, you lost that a long tme ago. Why would anybody listen to you?

    Like

  44. Chris
    May 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Sam, please go the right side of the page and click on the “Comment Policy” link. Pay close attention to these two:

    personal attacks of any kind;
    unsupported accusations;

    Like

  45. K.
    May 23, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Chris
    I have never said you got complete permanent immunity to a flu from having had it: I said you got partial immunity to the strains that you had, which are recycled into other flu mutations. But partial immunity is better than none. People who had been around in 1976 and gotten even subclinical immunity to that flu were protected to some degree from the 2009 flu. And siince reactions and deaths from any vaccine are usually called something else and ignored, it is impossible at this time to do any comparison.

    Like

  46. K.
    May 23, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Lawrence,
    Isn’t that what you say when you say that the children who react to vaccines are the same genetically flawed ones who would have died from the diseases anyway? Except that they weren’t 100% certain to have gotten and died of the diseases, but if they were “flawed” then they were certain poor risks for the vaccines, which would be given to them willy-nilly. And everyone needs to develop his immune system so that it learns to work efficiently: while survival of the fittest is also a true law of nature, this is slightly different, more along the lines of the need to get a good education to succeed in life, the individual immune system in this case needing to get a good education by getting a good workout.

    Like

  47. K.
    May 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    # Chris 36
    Citation please, otherwise your statement is purely anecdotal.

    Like

  48. Chris
    May 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    K., since it mutates all the time, how can you get much immunity at all from new ones like H7N9? How about you start providing some citations for your claims?. You can start with evidence the vaccine is more dangerous than influenza. There is is benchmark of harm you must meet, the mortality from the vaccine must equal the number of pediatric deaths this year.

    Like

  49. Chris
    May 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Also, don’t forget K., I did get immunity from H1N1 in 1976 from a vaccine. That meant I did not have to suffer over a week of fever and pain like my husband.

    While the numbers of people who get immunity from the vaccine is not 100%, it is much safer and less painful than the actual disease. And the only reason the annual influenza vaccine is not perfect is because it is a guess which strains will be circulating. The H1N1 vaccine matched very well with that particular influenza, but not the other two.

    You say: “Except that they weren’t 100% certain to have gotten and died of the diseases, but if they were “flawed” then they were certain poor risks for the vaccines, which would be given to them willy-nilly.”

    That is a version of the Nirvana Fallacy. I have not idea why you think someone would be poor risk for the vaccine, but would be okay dokay for the disease. Oh, wait. I remember now, you think eating apricot seeds is safe.

    Like

  50. Chris
    May 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    K., comment #36 is and anecdote. Since you consider anyone alive in 1976 as an “older” person, I can take a guess that you don’t remember anything about the 1970s, or 1980s.

    But here you go: PMID: 702749

    There is also a wiki:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_A_virus_subtype_H1N1#Russian_flu

    And remember, you have these to look through:
    PMID: 23158573
    PMID: 21856998
    PMID: 20845029
    PMID: 20560788
    PMID: 20196932

    Like

  51. Chris
    May 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    K., go and grab a dictionary and look up the word from #36 that is in bold type: “Also, getting that test vaccine for swine flu probably protected me from the Russian flu that hit a couple of years later.”

    You might understand the meaning a bit better.

    Like

  52. A Concerned Parent
    May 24, 2013 at 4:09 am

    I have a very important question to ask you deserves to be answered Christine. Your own reporting supports the notion that trying to determine efficacy from “reported” incidence is a complete waste of time and could even be described as a red herring to quiet down the protests of those who say that vaccines don’t work. Please, illuminate us with the meaning of this statement:

    “Out of the 2,416 specimens that were tested and reported just last week, 124 (5.1%) were positive for influenza.”

    95% of reported cases were NOT influenza, i.e. false reports. Looking at mortality rates, however and flu related deaths have increased since regular vaccination efforts. Don’t hide behind censorship, explain yourself…

    2003-04 flu season – 152 pediatric flu deaths
    2004-05 flu season – 39 pediatric flu deaths
    2005-06 flu season – 41 pediatric flu deaths
    2006-07 flu season – 68 pediatric flu deaths
    2007-08 flu season – 88 pediatric flu deaths
    2008-09 flu season – 133 pediatric flu deaths
    2009-10 flu season – 282 pediatric flu deaths
    2010-11 flu season – 123 pediatric flu deaths
    2011-12 flu season – 34 pediatric flu deaths
    2012-13 flu season – 138 pediatric flu deaths so far

    Except for the anomalies of2002-04 and 2011-12, the overall trend is UP for pediatric flu deaths since the big push for vaccination started so how is it that you claim that the flu vaccine is “saving lives”?

    http://pediatrics.about.com/od/kidsandtheflu/a/deaths-from-flu.htm

    Like

  53. May 24, 2013 at 5:35 am

    @ACP – well, since the flu virus can be substantially different from year to year (or not, as the case may be with mutations), you would expect to see a variable number of deaths – as some strains are more lethal than others, to different age groups.

    You do also realize that a number of those deaths occurred in babies too young to be vaccinated too, right?

    My own son was dreadfully sick from the flu (a “confirmed” case, if you will) when he was only 3 months old.

    Like

  54. A Concerned Parent
    May 24, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Thank you for you insight Lawrence, but you haven’t really answered my question. There has been a concerted effort from the CDC, the WHO, State health departments and websites such as this one to promote the flu vaccine yet this article admits that according to the CDC themselves, 95% of reported cases of flu are not actually flu at all. This tells me that the reported cases number is nothing more than hype and when people start throwing out ancedotes of children dying from the flu and how we need to save them with a robust vaccination program, why is there an obvious upward trend in children dying from the flu as more and more people get vaccinated? It only seems right to question this because any decrease in death rates from other vaccines is always attributed to a successful vaccine intervention. Why not the same when the opposite occurs?

    Like

  55. Gray Falcon
    May 24, 2013 at 7:07 am

    ACP, have you looked at the records from before when flu shots were given out?

    Like

  56. A Concerned Parent
    May 24, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Where are they?

    Like

  57. Gray Falcon
    May 24, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Well, here’s a page on one year before the flu shot was developed: http://virus.stanford.edu/uda/.

    Like

  58. May 24, 2013 at 8:37 am

    @ACP – http://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/children-flu-deaths.htm

    So, if the vast majority of children dying of the flu either unvaccinated or too young to be vaccinated, then your original premise is incorrect.

    It also helps that the influenza vaccine is one of the safest vaccines in use today – so why exactly shouldn’t people be vaccinating again?

    Like

  59. K.
    May 24, 2013 at 9:19 am

    In Feb. 2005, the Lancet published a review of all flu vaccine studies in children and found clear evidence of systematic suppression of safety data. Authors of the original studies were denied access to saety data from their own clinical trials. In one study, vaxed children were nearly twice as likely as unvaxed children to suffer medical adverse events. However, these events were not adequately identified. When the vaccine manufacturer was contacted for the missing data, researchers were denied access to it because it is considered proprietary information. The CDC refuses to warn parents that safety data is lacking. Jefferson. 365 (Feb. 26): 773-80.

    Like

  60. K.
    May 24, 2013 at 9:22 am

    In Oct. 2005, the BMJ published a special report criticizing the CDC’s marketing campaign of fear in which medical experts are taught to irrationally scare people to raise demand for flu vaccine. CDC official data confirmed that the CDC iintentionally hyperinflates flu mortality numbers to alarm the public and increase vaccine sales. Doshi. Dec. 10, 2005; 331:1412.

    Like

  61. May 24, 2013 at 9:23 am

    @K – anything in “this” decade perhaps? Given that was almost 10 years ago, surely you have information that is more recent?

    Like

  62. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 9:24 am

    ACP, the reporting policies have changed over the years. From the link provided by Lawrence: “CDC began tracking flu-associated pediatric deaths after the 2003-2004 flu season – a season that, like the current flu season, started early and was intense.” At present only those pediatric deaths that were confirmed to have influenza by testing are reported. This is why I “only” require that those claiming that the vaccine is dangerous to give data that it causes equivalent mortality to the pediatric deaths.

    Now, ACP, where is the data the influenza vaccine is more dangerous than influenza?

    Like

  63. K.
    May 24, 2013 at 9:25 am

    VAERS 298905 6 month old boy gets flu shot and collapsed at breakfast next day. Rushed to hospital, pronounced dead.
    330148 10 month old boy gets flu shot and dies next day.
    295195 16 month old girl gets flu shot and dies next day.
    270156 18 month old girl gets flu shot , developed cough, fever, pneumonitis, dies two days later.
    I submit that it is just as awful to have your child die from a flu shot as from the flu.

    Like

  64. K.
    May 24, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Chris and Lawrence, get all the shots you want. People should realize the political pressure that makes doctors and hospital staff write off flu vaccine deaths as SIDS. This political climate has not changed at all in the last ten years. I’m sure you’re aware that most of the hyped measles cases in Swansea were not confirmed cases of measles, just as not all flu deaths are confirmed cases of flu deaths. Between these two politically-driven currents, it is impossible to know even approximate correct numbers either way. I would rather take my or my child’s chances with the flu: I know many ways to treat it, and that Tylenol must be avoided at all costs. Vaccine reactions usually cannot be treated at all, and once one starts, you or your child is at its mercy.

    Like

  65. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 9:38 am

    K., please show that the influenza vaccine is associated with at least a hundred SIDS deaths per year. Since SIDS is defined as a death of an infant under a year, and children need to be at least six months old, make sure that verified data. And that does not mean VAERS data (what do you need to read and understand before using the VAERS database).

    Also, again I repeat: I use pediatric deaths because they are all verified with lab data. Since pediatric flu has only been tracked for less than a decade, you should use recent data. And make sure they are not editorials.

    Also, why do you want to let kids get sick instead of preventing influenza with a safe vaccine?

    Like

  66. Gray Falcon
    May 24, 2013 at 9:39 am

    K, did you read Lawrence’s article in #57. Read that first, then comment.

    Like

  67. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 9:44 am

    K.: “I would rather take my or my child’s chances with the flu: I know many ways to treat it, and that Tylenol must be avoided at all costs.”

    Now that is just cruel to your poor child.

    Gray Falcon, one of my stepmother’s brothers was a victim of that flu epidemic. He was only five years old. And, yes, K. should definitely read the article listed in #57.

    Like

  68. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 9:49 am

    There is also this: http://gis.cdc.gov/GRASP/Fluview/PedFluDeath.html

    The popup disclaimer explains how the flu death is verified.

    Like

  69. K
    May 24, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Someone mentioned this study, also by Fauci, in the BMJ 2013: 346: f3037, the other day, about how the flu vaccine is hyped for marketing purposes by making unsupported claims. Chris thought it was an opinion piece, but I thought it was detailed, factual, and interesting. I thought it was particularly interesting because it found that the flu vaccine wasn’t very effective at all in older people, the ones most likely to die (and that’s saying a lot, since it only averted one case of flu among a hundred younger adults who got it). And no one intends to do a vax/unvax study on older people to compare outcomes, because, as Ofit says about doing such a study on children, it could never be done because it would deprive people of valuable disease protection, so no control group could be ethically used. That’s ridiculous, of course, there are thousands of old people who refuse to get the flu vaccine and wild horses could not make them, just as there are tens of thousands of unvaxed children who would like to be in such a study. This makes it clear that vaccines’ benefit must be taken as an article of religious faith, and no doubts are permitted by the authorities to be entertained as to their safety or effectiveness.

    Like

  70. K
    May 24, 2013 at 10:03 am

    GF,
    I looked at Lawrence’s article in #57. It said that most of the children who died of the flu had not been vaccinated. This isn’t enough information to draw conclusions about anything. Those who were too young to be vaccinated were too young. They would have been a poor risk for either the vax or the disease. Among those old enough to be vaxed, there is no reliable information about how many in the vaxed group got the disease anyway, and how many of those died of it. Many reports have concluded that the flu vaccine has very little effectiveness in children. And how that group compares with a control unvaxed group, both of them being large groups. I would also need to know how many of the children who died of the flu had been given a fever reducer like Tylenol, which greatly increases mortality from feverish diseases. And I’d need to know how many of them had been given echinacea, elderberry, vitamins A and C in appropriately large doses, and homeopathic remedies suitable for children with flu. Bryonia works great for me, but belladonna is often more suited for the symptoms of many children.

    Like

  71. K
    May 24, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Maeda, T. Failure of inactivated influenza A vaccine to protect healthy children aged 6-24 months. Ped. Int. 2004; 46: 122-125. In 2000-2002. over three years, a vax/unvax study was conducted in Japan. Exactly equal numbers of children in each group got the flu, and there was no protective effect from vaccine.

    Like

  72. K
    May 24, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Homeoathic treatment saved many lives in 1918 flu epidemic. Study included 24,000 flu cases treated conventionally: 28.2% died, while among the 26,000 cases treated with homeopathy, the death rate was 1.05%. From report made to Am. Inst. of Hom. 1921. Perko, SJ. Homeopathic Treatment of Influenza: Surviving Influenza Epidemics and Pandemics, 1999.

    Like

  73. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 10:17 am

    K., where is your evidence? Also, opinion pieces Peter Doshi are not verifiable studies. He is not an epidemiologist, and seems to have some kind of agenda.

    Also, it has to be less than a decade old, and from the USA. Since we know that the CDC has only been getting data for that long, and it is lab verified. You may notice that 2013-2002 = 11, that is more than ten. And a decade is equal to ten years.

    Like

  74. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 10:19 am

    K., something written in 1921 or 1999 is more than a decade ago:
    http://www.howdoeshomeopathywork.com/

    Like

  75. K
    May 24, 2013 at 10:20 am
  76. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 10:26 am

    K., that is not by Fauci, it is about Peter Doshi. Fauci is not even mentioned.

    Hint: Peter Doshi is not Fauci. Peter Doshi is not an epidemiologist. Peter Doshi is a policy wog who has a bean in his bonnet about influenza. Peter Doshi has only written cherry picked opinion pieces.

    Like

  77. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

    K., where is your actual factual verifiable evidence that the influenza vaccine has killed at least equal to this years verified pediatric deaths?

    Like

  78. May 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Sam :
    Costner – you have no credibility, you lost that a long tme ago. Why would anybody listen to you?

    I’m guessing you have me confused with someone else considering that was my first comment on this site. Therfore I’d say it is a bit difficult to claim I lost credibility… but thanks?

    Also, I wasn’t making unsupported statements – I was merely challenging those are anti-vaccine to show us a citation which indicates 69 children have been killed from complications of the flu vaccine so far this year, or even in the past several years.

    Is asking someone to prove their statements with evidence a way to lose one’s credibility around here? If so, how much credibility do I get if I simply resort to ad hominem logical fallacies?

    Like

  79. May 24, 2013 at 10:50 am

    @K – not to get off-topic, but please explain the exactly biological mechanism by which a “homeopathic remedy” which, if properly prepared, has not even a single molecule or atom of the original substance, could possibly treat anything but dehydration?

    Like

  80. May 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

    @Chris – K is also highlighting both the “Nirvana” and “Perfect World” fallacies in her arguments…..just because something isn’t 100% effective, doesn’t mean it is 0% effective (since even a 60% effectiveness rate on something as mutable as the flu virus is pretty darn good).

    Not to mention the current research towards a more “Universal” Flu vaccine….again, Science always marches forward – yet the anti-vaccine talking heads want to live in the past.

    Like

  81. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Lawrence, I also suspect she is just regurgitating stuff she read elsewhere, without checking the original source. Twice she linked to articles either by or about Peter Doshi, yet claiming they were by “Fauci.” I don’t think she even bothered to read them.

    Like

  82. May 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    @Chris – it always surprises me how “anti-science” and anti-rationality / logic a lot of these anti-vax talking heads can be….

    Like

  83. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I am just trying to process the “anti-reading” bit.

    Like

  84. Kari
    May 24, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I read them, but was going too fast. I apologize for the mistake. And as for the number of deaths caused by the flu vaccine, it’s impossible to calculate, since readers of this blog have seen that if the parents in the VAERS reports I cited believed that their child died of the flu vaccine because they were previously healthy, but died the day after the fu vaccine, you say that that proves nothing. All right, it is not absolute proof, but looks suspicious since it happened so soon after the vax. There is no foolproof way to prove either that the flu or the vaccine caused any death. It is always possible that the victim would have suddenly developed pneumonia and died for reasons independent of the vaccine or the flu. Parents must judge for themselves how likely they believe this scenario is. But since your invariable reaction to parent reports of vaccine injury are to dismiss VAERS reports (or others) as anecdotal and unproven, it means that, since medical authorities are pretty much just like you, one has to assume that most vaccine deaths are attributed to something else, in order to protect the vaccine program. Not very confidence-inspiring, if you’re a parent.

    And regardless of how many children died of the flu or the vaccine, it’s cold comfort to the parents of the children who died from the vaccine, since they know that if they had not gotten it, their children wouldn’t have died at that time. If parents educated themselves on the remedies mentioned in 79, they would be able to treat their children for flu at home, and the children would be unlikely to develop complications or die. Randall Neustaedter in The Flu Guide lists several homeopathic remedies with their indications for treating pneumonia when it occurs (as an adjunct therapy, if pneumonia develops, the patient must be treated at a hospital, but the homeopathic remedies would improve his chances of recovery.)

    Like

  85. Kari
    May 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Chris,
    I understand that no case in the VAERS database is absoltute proof that the vaccine caused the death. People can read what is on their website for the cases cited, and decide for themselves if they believe the evidence points to the vaccine having been the cause. As we have seen in the Swansea thing, reports of measles cases are not proven to have been measles in most cases, and the one measles death has not been proven to have been caused by measles. Et ainsi de suite. I actually believe that most of the reported cases of measles in Wales were actually measles, unlike many of my fellows, but I say that without any proof. No proof of anything on either side. But the bottom line is that very few children have a fatal case of influenza. That is why before 2004 it was not included on the recommended vaccine schedule. And yes, I know that some have died of it. I totally recognize that, but also believe that the vaccine is too dangerous for me to ever get or recommend that others get. I recommend the remedies for flu listed above, and to avoid Tylenol.

    Like

  86. May 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    @Kari – do you even have a clue as to how VAERS is utilized?

    Ever serious case is actually followed up on & checked – you don’t see the results, because the subsequent research on each case is not included, so you have no idea is a case is factual or not.

    So, rather than make your decision based on hearsay, why not do it on actual evidence?

    But then again, you believe that “magic water” is a cure for the flu….I would say you are about as anti-science as a person can get.

    Like

  87. May 24, 2013 at 2:42 pm
  88. May 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    @Kari – and one last question for you, since you’re so hot on it – please explain, exactly, using legitimate scientific principles, exactly by what biological mechanism “homeopathy” works?

    Like

  89. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Kari (decide on a name and stick to it!), what must you read and understand before you enter the VAERS database at the official portal: http://vaers.hhs.gov/data/index ?

    And for the fourth time, it does not matter about how the measles cases were counted in Wales: the pediatric influenza deaths were all confirmed by laboratory testing. You need to actually read the links we gave you.

    Though it seemed you did not even read the links you posted. Just a glance at both of them would have revealed Doshi was the author and mentioned several times. With a bit of googling I notice one very interesting place where they are both mentioned on the same page, Mr. Belkin’s “refusers” website. In the future actually do your own research.

    Make that research provide us the recent PubMed indexed study showing the influenza vaccine has caused mortality that equals this years pediatric influenza deaths.

    Like

  90. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I suspect Karen/Kari/K. is someone who has been banned, and has had VAERS explained to her many times, like here:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/what-is-an-antivaxer/#comment-80233

    Like

  91. May 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    @(ABannableName) – yeah, sorry that we use things called “facts” and “evidence” to refute your lies & misrepresentations….

    Like

  92. dingo199
    May 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    K. :
    VAERS 298905 6 month old boy gets flu shot and collapsed at breakfast next day. Rushed to hospital, pronounced dead.
    330148 10 month old boy gets flu shot and dies next day.
    295195 16 month old girl gets flu shot and dies next day.
    270156 18 month old girl gets flu shot , developed cough, fever, pneumonitis, dies two days later.
    I submit that it is just as awful to have your child die from a flu shot as from the flu.

    It would be. But we know the pediatric deaths are medically verified, the VAERS reports are not.
    In fact we know that only 3% of VAERS reports are definitely caused by the vaccine.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X12014181

    Like

  93. A Concerned Parent
    May 24, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Gray Falcon :
    Well, here’s a page on one year before the flu shot was developed: http://virus.stanford.edu/uda/.

    Thank you for the link, but I fail to see the relevance to my question.

    Like

  94. A Concerned Parent
    May 24, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Lawrence :
    @ACP – http://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/children-flu-deaths.htm
    So, if the vast majority of children dying of the flu either unvaccinated or too young to be vaccinated, then your original premise is incorrect.
    It also helps that the influenza vaccine is one of the safest vaccines in use today – so why exactly shouldn’t people be vaccinating again?

    I proposed no premise. I simply asked a question which has not been answered yet, namely, why are we being told that the vaccine saves lives when the more we vaccinate, the higher the child mortality rate goes?

    Like

  95. A Concerned Parent
    May 24, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Chris :
    ACP, the reporting policies have changed over the years. From the link provided by Lawrence: “CDC began tracking flu-associated pediatric deaths after the 2003-2004 flu season – a season that, like the current flu season, started early and was intense.” At present only those pediatric deaths that were confirmed to have influenza by testing are reported. This is why I “only” require that those claiming that the vaccine is dangerous to give data that it causes equivalent mortality to the pediatric deaths.
    Now, ACP, where is the data the influenza vaccine is more dangerous than influenza?

    Are you aggressive or what? I asked a simple question which is yet to be answered and you start asking me to provide proof of something I didn’t say? You are either edgy beyond the pale or are trying to push comments into boxes that you feel you can deal with. In any event, I am sure there is a name for what you are doing in the new DSM.

    Like

  96. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    And we gave you the links on where to find the answer. And, no, it was not a simple question. It was a passive/aggressive question that was a bit loaded.

    If you have more questions, then contact the CDC department that does flu surveillance. I am sure you can find an email address in the links provided to you.

    Like

  97. May 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    @ACP – all the questions you asked were answered in the information provided…I’m sorry that you are not able to comprehend the answers or perhaps you just disagree with reality.

    Like

  98. A Concerned Parent
    May 24, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Is that how you people operate? I am truly shocked!! One link was to a 1918 flu pandemic historical article that has no relevance to my question, another attempts to disprove a “premise” that doesn’t exist, and the last is accusing me of asking a “loaded” “passive aggressive” question. I asked a simple question supported by official statistics that don’t add up to the assertions of the article, nothing more, nothing less. I can see (and I hope others can see) that there seems to be a blatant refusal to actually address my concerns and an aggressive attack against me for simply asking. And here I thought this might be a place to find answers.

    Like

  99. May 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    @ACP – it isn’t my fault you lack reading comprehension skills.

    Like

  100. Chris
    May 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    ACP, here is the short answer: not enough kids were vaccinated.

    It is further complicated since the flu strains vary every years. Some are worse than others. Some spread faster, or cause worse symptoms. Other not so much. In other words: they are not exactly the same viruses.

    So it was not a simple question.

    By the way, there is a difference in the surveillance between adults and children. If an adult is hospitalized, they are often not tested. It is not the same for children. It would have helped if you had clicked on the blue links in the article.

    Like

  101. A Concerned Parent
    May 25, 2013 at 2:35 am

    And according to the CDC the vaccine doesn’t always match the circulating strain, which they said was the case this year. In any event, it still doesn’t answer my question as to why there is a trend of greater childhood mortality each year even though vaccination rates have been increasing.

    And I still do not get why you people are so aggressive! If my kids behaved that why I would assume that they were hiding something. What are you hiding?

    Like

  102. dingo199
    May 25, 2013 at 5:46 am

    ACP, your “simple” question has been answered in part already, but let me expand:

    1. There is no “increasing trend” for pediatric deaths in the data you cite. Statistically speaking the line shows no trend to increase year on year, it is highly variable and only a statistically naive individual would attempt to draw conclusions from it.

    2. You cannot cherrypick which year’s data you want to count by removing seasons that don’t seem to fit the pattern you wish to see (eg trying to remove the nadir in 2011-12).

    3. Anyone can play your game- perhaps we could just look at recent seasons, when the following numbers emerge?
    2009-10 flu season – 282 pediatric flu deaths
    2010-11 flu season – 123 pediatric flu deaths
    2011-12 flu season – 34 pediatric flu deaths
    2012-13 flu season – 138 pediatric flu deaths so far
    Now to me, there seems a very clear trend over the last 4 years of a decrease in mortality, with a minor uptick this year. I am not going to stupidly claim there is a real trend, because so many other factors affect mortality, and mortality does not reflect incidence or vaccine effectiveness.

    4. “Universal” flu vaccination for kids was started when? I believe it was 2010. So surely you must ignore data prior to that time?

    5. Flu incidence depends on seasonal variations in the prevalence of infection, the extent of the epidemics and is highly dependent on the strain of influenza in circulation that particular season. So there will be bad seasons and good seasons.

    6. The virulence is also dependent upon strain of the flu that season, so mortality is dependent upon influenza strain serotype variation. Again, you will get good seasons and bad seasons, where mortality does not correlate well with incidence.

    7. You have already been told that 90% of pediatric deaths are in those who have NOT been immunized. So how on earth can you claim that if an unvaccinated child dies of influenza this is a measure of how ineffective the vaccine is?

    So, your “simple” question turns out to be a variation of concern trolling (as even indicated by your sock’s new nym). You are not really interested in the true factors at play, just keen to score points by misrepresenting information, and deliberately drawing the wrong conclusions.
    I think it is not the question that is simple, but the questioner.

    Like

  103. dingo199
    May 25, 2013 at 6:07 am

    A Concerned Parent :
    And according to the CDC the vaccine doesn’t always match the circulating strain, which they said was the case this year.

    Well the better matched the vaccine, the better the protection. So if we had the scenario where everyone was vaccinated (which they are not) then influenza incidence would reflect vaccine efficacy very closely. Then, dependent on how virulent that particular strain of flu was, mortality might roughly also reflect vaccine effectiveness/ineffectiveness.
    A close matched vaccine is around 70% protective (Jefferson data). Some seasons vaccine efficacy drops below 40%. But that’s just the way things are at the moment. The scientists do their best, and keep working on better vaccines and novel strategies.

    Let’s imagine that there are wonder herbal remedies that can prevent cancer.
    Now CAM snakeoil salesmen would give their eye teeth for a product that was even 10% effective at doing this. As it is, the best they have are vague, unsupported claims that something might sometimes help, without evidence that this does so in even a tiny percent of cases, and they proclaim how marvelous these things are to the world.
    http://www.cancer-gone.com/herbs-for-cancer-prevention.html

    Now, as someone who is “concerned”, how would you respond to these claims? Would you dismiss them, or maybe you think they are effective, and if only everyone used them we could abolish cancer? If you are not concerned about these cancer claims, can you explain why instead you are “concerned” that a vaccine that may be as little as 60% effective is being used to prevent potentially lethal influenza infection in our children? And if you are concerned about herbal cancer claims, can you link us to the websites where you have posted as “a concerned parent” questioning these claims? Surely you will have done so, as there is far more cause for “concern” about those claims than the evidence regarding flu vaccination?

    Like

  104. dingo199
    May 25, 2013 at 6:11 am

    And while you are in the mood for being annoyed at people for “not” answering “simple” questions, perhaps you could turn your attention to Chris’s one which said: “Now, ACP, where is the data the influenza vaccine is more dangerous than influenza? “

    Like

  105. Scott Henkel
    May 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    ACP:

    The basic problem here is the fundamental difference in thinking in regards to vaccine injury. They say even though the flu vaccine is ineffective it is better than nothing. That’s why they always want you to prove that the vaccine kills more people than the flu. But it’s not just about death, it’s about vaccine injury. Vaccine injury is more common than they say, and vaccines also contribute to over-all future bad health, like auto-immune diseases. So that’s why it is better NOT to get the ineffective flu vaccine, not because it will kill you (although it may) but because it can and will injure you and also contribute to future diseases down the road. These guys appear to be very toxic and I wouldn’t waste my time debating with them. You know, I know, and they know there is plenty of information out there to support both views. Live your life and do the best for your family and let them live their lives.

    Like

  106. Scott Henkel
    May 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    It is also interesting that they claim you are a sock puppet and get really upset about that and yet they keep coming back for more rather than ignoring you. What would they do all day long without a sock puppet to degrade? This blog doesn’t have much of a following, so in reality it is just you and them engaged in these toxic comments. I would suggest not worrying about parents that are “fence” sitters here, because there aren’t any. The only people commenting on this blog have all the information they need to make decisions for themselves. Don’t get caught up in the negativity here, life is way too short.

    Like

  107. Chris
    May 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Mr. Henckel:

    But it’s not just about death, it’s about vaccine injury.

    There is also permanent injury from influenza, including a greater chance Guillain–Barré syndrome Syndrome. Plus some other things, like permanent lung damage.

    Vaccine injury is more common than they say, and vaccines also contribute to over-all future bad health, like auto-immune diseases.

    Citation needed. If you are not a sock puppet, you would provide the PubMed indexed study showing there is definite proof the vaccine causes more injury than the disease from a qualified researcher. Do no cite doctors who have had their medical credentials removed, or those with an inappropriate education like law, business, computer science, etc, and those who had their research supported by the Dwoskin Family Foundation.

    Otherwise, if the sock fits, admit it.

    Like

  108. K.
    May 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks, Scott, what great comments! You’re probably right, I always think that there are parents on the fence who may be reassured into following the recommended vaccine schedule by the pro-vaccine information here. I hope you’re right, and that such parents will at least google the question to get the other side before vaxing.
    And Dingo, in the US the flu vaccine was put on the recommended schedule for children over 6 months and for pregnant women in 2004 (when previously it had been contraindicated for pregnant women, and only given to immunocompromised children), with no change in the number of children’s deaths from influenza. Since then, of course, tremendous increase in the rates of autism and the autoimmune disease mentioned by Scott.

    Like

  109. Chris
    May 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Go away, Ms. Parker. There is a reason you were banned.

    Like

  110. Chris
    May 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Again, Ms. Parker, read the words; even if they ACIP recommends a vaccine it does not mean every child gets it. It is obvious that with 90% of the deaths from children with no vaccine, that means not enough were vaccinated.

    You cannot point to how effective or not effective a vaccine when the child did not get it!

    Like

  111. A Concerned Parent
    May 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I asked a very simple question which still remains unanswered although you may pretend that somehow calling me names, questioning my reading comprehension or intelligence somehow negates the need to actually answer the question since I suspect that there really is no data to explain this. And the push for flu vaccines started in 2003.

    “While we now have a universal flu vaccine recommendation, where everyone who is at least six months old is supposed to get a flu vaccine each year, just 11 years ago, in 2001, flu vaccines were only targeted to children and adults in high-risk groups. Continued changes to the flu vaccine recommendations continued over the years, including:

    encouraging vaccination of healthy children between the ages of 6 and 23 months when feasible for the 2002-03 flu season
    that vaccination of healthy children between 6 and 23 months became a formal recommendation for the 2004-05 flu season
    that vaccination of healthy children between 24 and 59 months became a formal recommendation for the 2006-07 flu season
    that vaccination of healthy children between 5 and 18 years became a formal recommendation for the 2008-09 flu season
    recommending universal flu vaccination for everyone who is at least 6 months old beginning with the 2010-11 flu season (adds people between the ages of 19 and 49 years)”

    http://pediatrics.about.com/od/kidsandtheflu/a/04_flu_recs.htm

    So should I just start calling you a liar and a spreader of misinformation like you and that Lawrence like to do? And why do you and Chris go on about this “Now, ACP, where is the data the influenza vaccine is more dangerous than influenza? “ crap? My question is supported by data. The trend is there and I suspect that it has NOT been checked out by any researchers which leaves an absence of proof of a relationship, but as I have seen on here before and know with just a little common sense, the lack of evidence of a link does not equal proof of no link. If cars are crash tested in head on collisions, for example, it could be claimed that there is no evidence that a side impact is dangerous as the question had not been asked. This lack of evidence cannot be construed as proof that side impacts are safe, however this is exactly your argument. It is also completely rude to claim that every claim that anyone makes must be linked to a citation or “it is a lie” or “it is misinformation”.

    Like

  112. Chris
    May 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    ACP, what percentage of all children under age eighteen received this year’s influenza vaccine? That is a piece of data that would be helpful. Make sure you provide the source of that information, thank you.

    Like

  113. A Concerned Parent
    May 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Chris, since you seem to be the goddess of this website (are you actually Christine?) why don’t you tell me what the percentage is. Don’t forget to provide the appropriate Pubmed reference that has conducted research based on this percentage. You see the answer to my question is not dependent on the inane requests that you keep making. You do nothing but provide distraction from the data I provided which shows a clear and statistically significant increase in childhood flu mortality rates as the ACIP recommendations began to include more and more children. If you insist on addressing my question with questions, demands and rudeness, I shall have no choice but to assume that you really don’t know anything and should be ignored.

    Thanks for the advice Scott, but I am actually not stressing out over this. I really would like to see if any of these self styled experts can actually answer an honest question. I am beginning to think that they can not or that they know of an answer they choose not to say for some reason. It’s quite funny really because I had never heard of this site until a friend posted something about it on FB saying it was an example of industry propaganda to the extreme. I decided to read a bit and when my question came to me when reading other material, I thought I would give them the benefit of the doubt in spite of the bad press, and see if they could answer it.

    Like

  114. Chris
    May 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    ACP: ” You see the answer to my question is not dependent on the inane requests that you keep making.”

    Actually it is. The vaccine rate is very important, because you cannot get any kind of meaningful answer unless you know the rate of vulnerable versus non-vulnerable in the target population. And when you are done with that you can give me the incidence rates and attack rates of each of the three/four influenza strains in the vaccines for those years.

    Like

  115. Chris
    May 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    If you ask epidemiological questions, you need to provide the values for all the variables. Otherwise, you are just being disingenuous.

    Like

  116. Chris
    May 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    And after you find all of that, then come up with virulence factor of each of the strains of influenza that circulated during those years, with their prevalence and how well the vaccine each year matched them.

    Then you might get an answer. Especially since 90% of the pediatric mortality were from those who did not get the vaccine. Which is why pediatric influenza vaccine take-up rate is very important.

    Like

  117. A Concerned Parent
    May 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I asked a question and all you can do is lecture and demand. You people are supposed to be the experts, not me. Your condescension and overall overbearing and rude behavior is beyond words.

    Like

  118. Lawrence
    May 25, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    @ACP – what haven’t we answered with the links provided? Be specific .

    Like

  119. A Concerned Parent
    May 25, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Some level of explanation as to the veracity of the claim that the flu vaccine “saves children’s lives” while child mortality rates are on an upward trend as more and more children are added to the recommended groups to receive the vaccine. Remember, if there is no evidence as yet linking these facts, it cannot be construed as proof that there is no link. It would be refreshing to see someone on here actually admit that there is no research into this issue as opposed to giving links to 1918 flu history as if it meant something to the question posed.

    Like

  120. Lawrence
    May 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    @ACP – what about 90% of dead children were unvaccinated, don’t you comprehend?

    Like

  121. Chris
    May 25, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    ACP:

    You people are supposed to be the experts, not me.

    No, we are not. We admit that, which is why we told you to contact the CDC.

    Also, why don’t you think the pediatric influenza vaccination rate to be important? Why do you consider asking for this crucial information “inane”?

    Like

  122. Chris
    May 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    ACP: ”You see the answer to my question is not dependent on the inane requests that you keep making.”

    ACP: “If you insist on addressing my question with questions, demands and rudeness, I shall have no choice but to assume that you really don’t know anything and should be ignored.”

    I believe calling the questions “inane” can be considered rude. And it is also rude to fail to note that you were given some answers in good faith and even told in comment #95: “If you have more questions, then contact the CDC department that does flu surveillance. I am sure you can find an email address in the links provided to you.”

    We admitted we don’t have all the answers and directed you towards those that do. I have tried to do it politely, but it seems that in your view that asking for data is considered rude.

    I can’t imagine how well you fare in a car dealership if you think asking for information is rude. Do you try being terribly polite accepting a certain monthly payment without asking for the interest rate or the length of the loan term? Are these things you ignore when you make a large purchase? Is this why you want us to ignore very important epidemiological data?

    Like

  123. dingo199
    May 25, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    ACP, your continued protestations that your questions have not been answered are wearing quite thin. We have pointed out the holes in your argument, and yet you persist in lying.

    I can safely say you are lying, because I have actually calculated the regression slope for the trend line on pediatric deaths. Have you? You insist the trend over the last 10 years is going up, but I doubt you have even looked at the graph, never mind done a stats calc on it. As I pointed out, the trend over the last 4 years is actually down. Why do you also ignore all the information we have provided on why number of deaths varies from year to year? Are you blind, or just wilfully ignorant? And that is not an accusation, it is another “question”, and a simple one too.

    Now, to address your whining about “mortality rates.going up”.

    1. Mortality numbers are not actually rising anyway, as pointed out above.
    2. Do you know what a rate is? Clearly not, since you think a number is a rate. FYI, a rate is a ration, and requires a numerator and a denominator. Since you claim you know what the pediatric “mortality rates” are, you will have no problems providing the denominator will you? To help you, that means you need to know the number of pediatirc cases of influenza in the years mentioned.
    Simple question really.
    Please can you answer?

    Like

  124. dingo199
    May 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    That’s “ratio” not “ration”.
    Sorry about the typo.
    Looking forward to ACP’s answers to the questions though….

    Like

  125. dingo199
    May 25, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Just noticed ACP used an analogy of car crashes earlier. Perhaps it can be extended into something he can understand:

    Here are the numbers of people dying in car crashes in Zombieland:
    2003 – 152 deaths
    2004 – 39 deaths
    2005 – 41 deaths
    2006 – 68 deaths
    2007 – 88 deaths
    2008 – 133 deaths
    2009 – 282 deaths
    2010 – 123 deaths
    2011 – 34 deaths
    2012 – 138 deaths

    You think that this proves seatbelts don’t work.
    Is the death rate rising? Well the numbers aren’t, statistically speaking. But let’s check rates, and not numbers, shall we?
    How about we start with simple things, like how many accidents were there each year?
    And then we work out the proportion of accidents which were fatal. A much better index, I am sure you will agree.
    Then let’s actually see how many people who died were actually wearing seatbelts. Funnily enough, only 10% of people wear them, so that makes the validity of conclusions drawn about their benefit or not very suspect, you’ll agree?
    And did you also know that in 2003 and 2012 that most people drove a new type of car with defective brakes?
    And did you also know that the number of cars on the road varies dramatically every year, with 10 times as many cars on the road in 2009 as in previous years?

    But although you knew none of these things, you continue to insist the death “rate” is rising, and imply seatbelts don’t work. And then you get angry when people don’t agree with your facile reasoning and conclusions. Pity.

    Like

  126. A Concerned Parent
    May 26, 2013 at 1:35 am

    You make the rest look quite polite in comparison dingo. Yes, there was an assumption built into the “rate” comment. I don’t think it was unreasonable to assume that as ACIP expanded the number of recommended groups who should be vaccinated, that most parents who take their doctor’s advice without question would follow the changes and get their kids vaccinated for flu. So the assumption is that year on year more and more children are getting the flu vaccine. That should mean, if we believe the “vaccines save lives” claim, that the child mortality rate from flu should be dropping as we approach that “herd immunity” level. If 90% of children who died were not vaccinated, that does not mean that there has not been a vaccine failure necessarily. If most of those children were too young to be vaccinated or too young for the vaccine to provoke an immune response, then the herd immunity concept must be questioned as well.

    Sorry, I’m just sharing the thoughts going through my mind on this. Thank you Chris for your admission that you don’t know the answer. The whole conversation would have been much more amicable had that been the case initially instead of making these silly demands for data to prove what was really just a question.

    Like

  127. Chris
    May 26, 2013 at 1:51 am

    ACP:

    Yes, there was an assumption built into the “rate” comment.

    But that is the whole crux of the conversation. What is the rate of disease versus the rate of vaccination.

    “Thank you Chris for your admission that you don’t know the answer.”

    I told you in Comment #95 to contact the CDC. But you ignored that and refused our answers. This is why I asked that crucial epidemiological question in Comment #111. Your memory seems to have mixed up some things.

    Also, as I have said before multiple times: my full name is not “Christine.”

    Like

  128. dingo199
    May 26, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Well thank you ACP for your acknowledgement that figures of flu mortality don’t relate to vaccine efficacy, or that numbers don’t relate to vaccine failure, and that you misunderstood the “rate” issue.
    .
    We could have got here much sooner had you also accepted the rocky premise on which your “question” was based, and understood a bit of epidemiology.

    PS, with flu we are not aiming for achieving protection by herd immunity, but individual protection. Flu does not lend itself to herd immunity protection.

    Like

  129. May 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

    @Dingo – correct, because the flu has too many circulating strains, mutates very quickly (compared to other VPDs), and also has multiple non-human reservoirs.

    Like

  130. A Concerned Parent
    May 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Well it would be nice to know the vaccination rates and how many children who died were too young to be vaccinated anyway. I read somewhere on here that there was a study done analysing all of the flu vaccine research that came to the conclusion that the vaccine had no impact on transmission or complications. If that is true, then blowing the vaccine trumpet would not have helped those children too young to vaccinate anyway. If anyone remembers that study can you enlighten us all? I will have a look for it when I have more time.

    Like

  131. Chris
    May 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    So, why don’t you contact the CDC and get the information?

    Like

  132. Chemmomo
    May 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    ACP
    I look forward to your posting the study you mention.

    In the meantime, take a look at this study from Canada from a few years back. They found that immunizing school age children reduced the transmission of laboratory-confirmed flu: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=185509#RESULTS
    (hoping this works; I’ve never posted a link on this site before)

    Like

  133. dingo199
    May 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    A Concerned Parent :
    You make the rest look quite polite in comparison dingo.

    Please accept my sincerest apologies in that case.

    Like

  134. A Concerned Parent
    May 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Ahh, found it! Here is the relevant conclusion:

    “Authors’ conclusions:
    Influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost. There is no evidence that they affect complications, such as pneumonia, or transmission.”

    It comes with a rather ominous disclaimer:

    “WARNING:
    This review includes 15 out of 36 trials funded by industry (four had no funding declaration). An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 found industry funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size. Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favorable to the vaccines. The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding.”

    I read that to mean that the lack of impact on transmission and complications was found despite the fact that the data was questionable, if not completely manipulated.

    http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD001269/vaccines-to-prevent-influenza-in-healthy-adults

    Like

  135. A Concerned Parent
    May 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    And I am glad that you have pretty much admitted that your intent is not to add to dialogue but rather to be impolite and rude dingo.

    Like

  136. dingo199
    May 27, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I merely apologized for the apparent offense my comments have caused you. I may add I don’t think they are rude at all.

    PS: The Cochrane study does not corroborate your claims. Recall that we were taliking about pediatric influenza deaths, and you said:

    “Well it would be nice to know the vaccination rates and how many children who died were too young to be vaccinated anyway. I read somewhere on here that there was a study done analysing all of the flu vaccine research that came to the conclusion that the vaccine had no impact on transmission or complications. If that is true, then blowing the vaccine trumpet would not have helped those children too young to vaccinate anyway. If anyone remembers that study can you enlighten us all? I will have a look for it when I have more time.”

    It now appears that the study you were thinking of consisted of an analysis of flu vaccine in healthy adults (the subgroup least likely to get seriously ill from influenza and so the hardest to demonstrate statistically and clinically significant benefit in).

    So that study isn’t the one you presumably meant, and I look forward to seeing your link to a pediatric flu vaccine study which showed it has no impact on outcome.

    Of course, another explanation is that you may have been mistaken, and no such study exists for children, and you confused it with the well adult studies.

    Like

  1. May 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

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