Valentine: A Possible Solution to the Flu Shot Controversy


Art by Mark Valentine

I just don’t believe in the Flu Shot

I’m not a science denier – I’m good with many other vaccines – but this one feels like a government run McDonald’s promotion. Yet despite the propaganda, it’s not that big and not that tasty.

Look at the latest local news.

Menorah Hospital is seeing a lot of flu cases and 14 nurses are out with the flu. The knee-jerk response is, “Everybody needs to get a Flu Shot immediately.” A more critical eye might have noted that the nurses are already required to get flu shots, so why are so many of them sick with the flu anyway?

We all know somebody who believes the flu shot made them sick.

Doctors who toe the line say that’s impossible, but none of them will point out the fact that it did not protect the afflicted. After all, we wouldn’t accept that kind of sales pitch from a street drug dealer, “It will get you high six out of ten times.”

The Truth About the Flu ShotThe Flu Shot is even less effective for the “at-risk” segment of the population. Try to reconcile that fact with the official advice of who should get flu shots.

So what is behind the CDC pushing all American citizens to get a rather mysterious injection once a year?
I think it’s interesting to note that not one European country urges its citizens to take this shot.

I’ll let conspiracy theorists thrash that one out.

For now, I’ll just wash my hands, eat properly, exercise and trust in my abilities to ward off the flu.

Hey, maybe we should make the flu season more festive. You know, hang our flu socks from the mantle and sing seasonal songs like, “Freeze The Jolly Good Fellow.”
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12 Responses to Valentine: A Possible Solution to the Flu Shot Controversy

  1. dreamwriter326 says:

    A fine column that unfortunately went one graf too long. I agree on the flu shot thing. Besides, if not for the two or three days of work I miss every January or February with the bug, I would never use any of my sick days. Bring it on!

  2. the dude says:

    Eh, choosing which 3 variants of the flu virus to put in the shot can be a hit or miss deal. It seems that a variant they did not put in this year’s shots is making it’s rounds.

  3. Hot Carl says:

    I’ve never had a flu shot and don’t get the flu any more or less than my friends who do. It’s a waste of time and money. Like Mark says, eat right, wash your hands and take care of yourself.

  4. rww says:

    I have been getting a flu shot for 15 years and have not had the flu once in that time. At only $25-$30 per shot, and no side effects, I will keep getting mine.

    • admin says:

      Ever since my mom died five years ago and hasn’t been around to bug me about it, I’ve gone without.

      And I hardly ever get sick – maybe a cold here or there – but seldom to no flu.

      All of which is little more than anecdotal evidence, rww.

  5. b12 says:

    Flu shot is a crapshoot at best.

    If it’s not a conspiracy…it is ripe for it.

  6. Jill White says:

    Right on..this thing smells to high heaven. Vaccines work, this one doesn’t and yet our government continues to shove it down our throats despite not a single gold standard study to prove it works..The flu vaccine is based on idealism, not science and the fact that people are losing their jobs for not submitting to a evidence free initiative is disgraceful. A few tidbits for you: In a recent review in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 15 vaccines were highlighted for their significant role in reducing morbidity in the last 60 years. Of note, the influenza vaccine was not one of these, despite accounting for 26% of the citations in the review”

    The 2010 Cochrane review on vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults detected a statistically significant reduction in confirmed influenza cases, the size of which depended on the degree of vaccine matching to the circulating virus. However, the reviewers point out that the small overall average absolute difference of about 1% suggests that 100 adults would need to be vaccinated to prevent one case of influenza. The review showed that vaccine reduced time off work by an average of 0.13 days. This small effect was of borderline statistical significance (95% CI 0.00–0.25). Vaccination did not have a statistically significant effect on hospitalization or complications, and no evidence was found that vaccines prevent viral transmission.
    The 2010 Cochrane review on vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults concluded that, “Although serious harm from vaccination may be rare it cannot be ignored and conclude that the results of their literature review discourage the utilization of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine measure.”

  7. Rich says:

    “For now, I’ll just wash my hands, eat properly, exercise and trust in my abilities to ward off the flu.”

    Your body can handle a flu shot. I used to get the flu once a year but haven’t had it in ten years since I started getting a yearly vaccination. I once had a colleague in good health in his early 30’s who turned up dead after taking a couple of days off with the flu. The flu is a deadly business not to be trifled with, whether by conspiracies, science deniers or religious nuts.

  8. Rich says:

    I would also add that, while washing your hands often is a wise habit for fending off germs, it does nothing to prevent the flu which is an airborne virus. Eating well and exercising, again good habits, aren’t going to ward off a virus. Though the flu vaccine doesn’t provide 100% protection (no vaccine does), some protection is better than none given how cheap and painless it is. The supposed side effects have been debunked.

  9. grovester says:

    “shoved down our throats” is code for anti-govt wingnuts. If you don’t get the shot for yourself, get it for the elderly and infants you might interact with.

    • admin says:

      Ah grovester…

      Your comment reminds me of the time I called Uptown Theater main man Larry Sells back while I was at some clinic waiting to get my flu vaccine six or seven years ago. I made the mistake of telling Larry where I was and what I was doing and he laid waste to me.

      He scolded me so thoroughly that I actually put him on the phone with the doctor / nurse lady and listened to them duke it out while debating the subject.

      I’m going to send Larry a link to this column and see if he’s willing to weigh in.

  10. kinder says:

    i did a flu vaccine trial a few years back for a universal shot that doesn’t change from year to year and can combat all forms of the virus. I keep waiting for that thing to go live, not sure how many years of clinical trials it takes to deem it safe. I felt fine afterwards, not even a fever.

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