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Inflating Influenza Mortality to Sell Flu Vaccine

sick in bed with the flu

The CDC has been telling the public for nearly a decade that there are more than 200,000 estimated hospitalizations and 36,000 estimated deaths from influenza in the U.S. every year.

It’s that time of the year again when drug companies, doctors, government officials and media conduct a national advertising campaign to sell flu shots to every American.1 2 3 You can’t pass by a pharmacy,4 enter a supermarket,5 shop in a “big box” store6 or catch a plane7 without seeing the “flu shots for sale” signs trolling for customers.

The pharmaceutical industry is cutting out the MD middleman and going straight for the gold in places where we shop for toothpaste, clothes and food.8 Even on the evening news, flu shot commercials are becoming as frequent as political campaign ads.

Up until the year 2000, flu shots were not recommended for everyone. Back in the 1990’s, doctors were telling seniors over age 65 and younger people with chronic illness to get vaccinated.9

No Flu Shot? No Job or Daycare!

Now, doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tell every man, woman and child over six months old they need an annual flu shot10 and it is okay for health care workers to be fired if they don’t get vaccinated every year.11 12 13 14

In the states of Connecticut and New Jersey, there are mandates in place that force parents to give their six-month old babies a flu vaccine or be banned from daycare.16 This, as state health department officials join with medical trade association lobbyists in many states to severely restrict or eliminate medical, religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions for all children.16 17

The product liability protection that Congress gave doctors and drug companies under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which the U.S. Supreme Court expanded in 2011, has absolved vaccine manufacturers from accountability in civil court for vaccine injuries and deaths.18 To make matters worse, the public-private business partnership between government and the pharmaceutical industry that Congress created after Sept. 11, 200119 20 is paying big dividends for liability free drug companies and liability free doctors selling flu shots to more than 325 million Americans.

It doesn’t matter if 80 to 95 percent of all flu-like illness during the flu season is caused by other viruses and bacteria and not type A or B influenza strains contained in flu vaccines,21 22 or that the vaccines don’t prevent influenza most of the time. In December 2015, CDC officials publicly admitted that flu vaccines are only on average 50 to 60 percent effective at preventing lab confirmed influenza requiring medical care in most years.  

In fact, a CDC analysis of flu vaccine effectiveness for the past decade—from 2005 to 2015—demonstrated that more than half the time, seasonal flu shots are less than 50 percent effective depending upon the age of the person who got vaccinated and what kind of vaccine was given. In the 2004-2005 flu season, the influenza vaccine failed to protect vaccinated persons 90 percent of the time and in the 2014-2015 season, it failed to prevent influenza about 80 percent of the time.23

Inflating Influenza Mortality to Sell Flu Vaccine

The selling of influenza vaccine has a lot to do with selling big morbidity and mortality numbers. So how bad were those numbers in the late 20th century to justify government taking a “no exceptions” cradle to the grave approach to flu shots for every American in the 21st century?

The first experimental influenza vaccines were given to soldiers in World War II. It wasn’t until the 1957-58 and 1968-69 influenza pandemics that the vaccine was marketed to civilians.24 Between 1970 and 2000, the trivalent influenza vaccine containing two strains of type A influenza and one strain of type B influenza was primarily recommended for the elderly. That is because respiratory infections, especially with pneumonia complications, have always been a leading cause of death for people at the end of their life span.25

There was only one deadly influenza pandemic in the last 100 years that killed the young and healthy in great numbers and that was the 1918 Spanish Flu. It turns out that bacterial pneumonia is what killed most people, young or old, in the 1918 pandemic. Today, antibiotics would have prevented most of those deaths.26

But just how bad is seasonal influenza today?

Is it 200,000 Influenza Hospitalizations or 37,000?

The CDC has been telling the public for more than a decade that there are some 200,000 estimated hospitalizations and 36,000 estimated deaths from influenza in the U.S. every year.27

But are those figures accurate? Well, it all depends upon use of the word “estimate.” The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported that, in 2004, there were about 37,000 Americans hospitalized for either influenza or another illness in addition to influenza, and patients over age 85 were twice as likely to die.28

Now, 37,000 influenza hospitalizations is five times less than the 200,000 hospitalization figure the CDC uses. That is because what CDC employees did to come up with their influenza hospitalization “estimate” was to count a lot of people hospitalized between 1979 and 2001—not just with influenza but also with pneumonia, respiratory and circulatory illnesses—which they counted as probably associated with influenza.29 30

And they got away with it.

Counting Influenza Deaths & A Whole Lot More

In 2003, CDC employees also used a convoluted statistical modeling scheme to “estimate” that 36,000 people die from influenza in the U.S. every year. Again, they counted not just influenza death cases but also threw in other respiratory, circulatory, cardiac and pulmonary deaths they thought might have been associated with influenza.31

And they got away with it.

The CDC does not require states to “report individual seasonal flu cases or deaths of people older than 18 years of age.”32

That’s right—the CDC is not actually asking for the information they need to accurately assess influenza morbidity and mortality in the U.S.

It would be funny if people weren’t actually losing their jobs or being denied daycare or becoming paralyzed33 34 by “no exceptions” flu shot policies and laws.

Flu Shot Mandates Despite Low Influenza Mortality

Doctors at the CDC quietly admit on their website that the “CDC does not know exactly how many people die from seasonal flu each year.”35 Having gotten that “universal” cradle to the grave flu shot recommendation firmly in place so states and employers could start mandating, they are backing away from the 36,000 influenza death figure. CDC now says that “only 8.5 percent of all pneumonia and influenza deaths and only 2.1 percent of all respiratory and circulatory deaths” are influenza related.

Even though the CDC admits that influenza deaths are not that common and that flu shots are a miserable failure most of the time,36 the effects of the CDC’s decade-long inflating of influenza morality using tax dollars to fund an advertising and marketing campaign for liability free influenza vaccine manufacturers has been a spectacular success. The global influenza vaccine market is currently worth more than $6 billion dollars and projected to be $10 billion dollars in 2022.37 The U.S. flu vaccine market is worth at least $1.6 billion dollars per year.38

While drug companies with no legal accountability are making big profits from government marketed and mandated influenza vaccines, when children and adults in America get hurt from dutifully rolling up their sleeves for that annual flu shot, most are left on their own to pick up the pieces of their lives and pay for it, too.39 With Big Pharma’s free pass on liability, federal government officials have been able to turn the federal vaccine injury compensation system (VICP) into a cruel joke.40

The big question is: How long are Americans going to tolerate being forced to buy and use a vaccine every single year, which carries a risk of injury or death and fails to work most of the time, to theoretically prevent an infection that most people recover from without complications?


References:

1 Hip2Save. Get Your Flu Shot at CVS Pharmacy in Select Target Stores and Get a FREE $5 Target Gift Card! Aug. 23, 2016.
2 Tuttle B. How the Flu Shot Because the New Doorbuster Deal. Time Magazine Sept. 14, 2014.
3 Parker H. One View: ‘Tis the season for gratitude, gridion and flu shots. Reno Gazette-Journal Nov. 22, 2016.
4 Walgreens. All Walgreens Pharmacies and Healthcare Clinics Now Offering Flu Shots Daily. Press Release: Aug. 15, 2016.
5 Giant Food Stores. Flu Vaccine Now Available at Giant/Martin Pharmacies: Immunizations available for both adults and children; no cost with most insurance plans. Press Release: Sept. 7, 2016.
6 WTKR-TV. Walmart to offer free health check-ups, low cost flu shots on Oct. 15. WTKR Oct. 14, 2016.
7 Baskas H. Get Your Flu Shot at the Airport. USA Today Oct. 26, 2015.
8 Advisory Board. Why retailers are fighting to give you your flu shot: The annual vaccinations bring customers into the store. Sept. 18, 2014.
9 CDC. Prevention and Control of Influenza–Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP). MMWR May 15, 1992; 41(RR-9).
10 CDCPrevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2016–17 Influenza Season. MMWR Aug. 26, 2016; 65(5): 1-54.
11 Fisher B. Women, Vaccines & Bodily Integrity. NVIC Newsletter Jan. 24, 2016.
12 Devine DJ. Vaccines & Viruses: Nurses who refuse flu shots must wear masks. World Magazine Sept. 29, 2015.
13 Tuttle B. Workers Are Being Fired for Refusing to Get Flu Shots. Time Magazine Nov. 5, 2015.
14 CBS San Francisco. Daycare Workers Must Be Vaccinated Under New California Law. Oct. 13, 2015.
15 Immunization Action Coalition. States with Influenza Vaccine Mandates for Childcare. Mar. 9, 2016.
16 Richardson D. The Fallout from California SB277 – What Happens Next? NVIC Newsletter  Aug. 5, 2015.
17 Fisher BL. Defending the Religious Exemption to Vaccination. NVIC Newsletter June 28, 2016.
18 NVIC. National Vaccine Information Center Cites “Betrayal” of Consumers by U.S. Supreme Court Giving Total Liability Shield to Big Pharma. Businesswire Feb. 23, 2011.
19 Fisher BL. Letter to Col. Robert P. Kadlec, M.D. (USAF, ret.), Staff Director, Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness, U.S. Senate. Nov. 15, 2005.
20 Fisher BL. Here Comes the 21st Century Cures Act: Say Goodbye to Vaccine Safety Science. NVIC Newsletter July 21, 2015.
21 FDA.  Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting Transcript. VRBPAC Meeting Feb. 20, 2003. 
22 CDC. Update: Influenza Activity – United States, October 4, 2015 – February 6, 2016. MMWR Feb. 19, 2016; 65(6): 146-153.
23 CDC. Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness 2005-2015. Dec. 18, 2015.
24 College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The History of Vaccines: Asian Influenza Pandemic (1957) and Vaccine for Hong Kong Influenza Pandemic (1968).
25 Rozzini R, Sabatini T, Trabucchi M. Is Pneumonia Still the Old Man’s Friend? Arch Intern Med 2003; 163(2): 1491-1492.
26 National Institutes of Health. Bacterial Pneumonia Caused Most Deaths in 1918 Influenza Pandemic. Press Release: Aug. 19, 2008.
27 Doshi P. Are US flu death figures more PR than science? BMJ 2005; 331(7529): 1412.
28 AHRQ. Influenza Most Deadly for the Very Elderly. Press Release Nov. 7, 2006.
29 CDC. Seasonal Influenza Associated Hospitalizations in the United States. May 26, 2016.
30 Thompson WW, Shay DK et al. Influenza Associated Hospitalizations in the United States. JAMA 2004; 242(11): 1333-1340.
31 Thompson WW, Shay DK et al. Mortality Associated with Influenza and Respiratory Synctial Virus in the United States. JAMA 2003; 289(2): 179-186.
32 CDC. Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: Questions and Answers. May 26, 2016.
33 NVIC. Flu Vaccine Reaction Leaves Former Nurse a Quadriplegic. NVIC Newsletter Oct. 31, 2011.
34 Schonberger LB, Bregman DJ et al. Guillain Barre Syndrome Following Vaccination in the National Influenza Immunization Program, United States, 1976-1977. Am J Epidemiol 1979; 110(20): 105-123.
35 CDC. Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: Questions and Answers. May 26, 2016.
36 Fisher BL. CDC Admits Flu Shots Fail Half the Time. NVIC Newsletter Apr. 26, 2016.
37 Research and Markets. Global Influenza Vaccine Market Worth USD 10.2 Billion by 2022. BusinessWire Apr. 5, 2016.
38 Tirrell M. The $1.6 billion business of flu. CNBC Oct. 19, 2015.
39 Fleischer J. $3B program to help vaccine victims falls short on promises. WSB-TV Nov. 15, 2016.
40 Fisher BL. Vaccine Injury Compensation: Government’s Broken Social Contract with Parents. NVIC Newsletter Nov. 2, 2015.

9 Responses to Inflating Influenza Mortality to Sell Flu Vaccine

  1. Jeffrey Reply

    December 11, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    I surrender. They’ve already won. 90 percent of your friends and family have already been thoroughly brain-washed and treat you like some kind of nutcase if you oppose vaccines. These are many of the same people who supported Hillary Clinton and so easily ignore the corruption and lies as if someone else did it. Lawmakers in California have made it almost impossible to get an exemption and don’t recognize religious freedom. Vaccines are mandatory to go to school or day care. There is a Democratic super majority in the California legislature so it has no incentive to change. These idiots have California locked up for decades. Now because the rest of the country showed some common sense and want to save America from the Democrats, you hear of calls to secede from the U.S. If only that were possible, I’d let them go and move to Montana or some other sensible red state.

    So we’ll see if Tom Price is serious about medical autonomy and freedom. But he’ll be swimming upstream and he may be defeated by the industry. It will be interesting to see if they ask him about his position on vaccines in the confirmation hearings. I won’t hold my breath.

  2. Jeannie Reply

    December 9, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    As a health care worker, I am able to avoid getting a flu shot because I lie and say my grandmother was diagnosed with Guillaume-Barre within a month of getting the vaccine. I hate lying, however it is the only way I know to not get questioned about my intent to stay vaccine-free. I would rather my employer understand that I might have a genetic disposition to developing an awful disease (one that has been correlated with the flu vaccine), then get fired for non-compliance. I let them know that I cannot risk the possible side-effects, and that if I do come down with any flu-like symptoms, (it has never happened yet), I will gladly stay home.

  3. Race 2 Reply

    December 4, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    By removing informed consent and foisting the decision through coercion on sections of the population, it divides the resistance. The child vaccine agenda is being used to take children from loving poor families to feed a ravenous international child sex trafficking and private prison system. The WikiLeaks e mails seem to expose a child sex trafficking ring that includes CPS and Oxfam. Manipulating the law to rope in medical and teaching persons normalizes the practice in the courts where children and people under hospitalization are to accept the judges opinion. The child protective system has been removing children from homes who have been vaccine damaged. Also divorce judgements have been awarded to parents who vaccinate over a partner who refuses. Children have been taken by child protective services over the vaccine issue and sent to a system of foster homes that force experimentation and exposes their lives to sexual abuse and bodily compromise. Read the Podesta e mails and understand this issue in a deeper way.

  4. Finally awake Reply

    December 4, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    This is a very silly vaccine. The maybe sometimes benefit does not warrant the risks. The fact that thimersol still exists in the multi dose viles is unconscionable. What a sick joke an the people in the US and around the world.

  5. Num Guy Reply

    December 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Lies, Lies, and more lies. This has always been the case with Vaccines and their makers!!

    Unless, we seriously start mobilizing in huge numbers, the CDC and the FDA will continue to do the bidding of Big Pharma. Big Pharma has nothing to loose by selling us more and more vaccines because even if someone dies, they are not liable!! They have been shielded by our own corrupt congress since 1986.

    Let’s start by repealing the “1986 Vaccine Injury Law Information”.

    Please google “Repeal Immunity for Drug Companies Against Vaccine Injuries” and sign the petition. This 1986 law must go. Otherwise, no amount of talk will make things better.
    Please take a moment to sign and please share with friends and family.

  6. Zuto Reply

    December 3, 2016 at 10:33 am

    As long as reimbursement from the government for services provided to government subsidized patients can be restricted if an organization has not met a government mandated quota for vaccination of ALL personnel (including the telephone operators and laundry workers, who have no patient contact) we will never see flu vaccination mandates removed. The government can use the threat of withholding or reducing reimbursement to beat medical providers into submission. In the interest of survival, the providers will beat on employees to comply.

    It has nothing to do with anyone being healthier. It has everything to do with a) moving money from the pockets of consumers to the pockets of Pharma, and b) reminding the sheeple who’s the Boss.

    Shaming people with red stickers is discrimination. With all the whimpering about bullying in schools, how about calling out the Red Sticker Police. There are laws against workplace harassment. The red stickers qualify as harassment. Sue them.

    I will refuse the flu shot and feel no shame, red sticker or not; masking or not. Every person should question every single prescription they are given, but they don’t. Many people take pride in their medical regimens. Suckers.

    Be different. Instead of buying in to the commonly accepted “expectation of impending illness.” profess an “expectation of excellent health.” It worries many people. WHY?

  7. mary59 Reply

    December 3, 2016 at 8:22 am

    In addition to the voodoo medicine practiced by the one-size-fits-all vaccine policies we have the question as to why there are cases of paralysis after flu vaccination.

    In the absence of honest studies and research into the possible genetic and environmental links to vaccine reactions, people tend to wildly speculate. I’m not into conspiracy theories, I want sound science where ego and the profit motive isn’t weighing the scale.

  8. Bill Rhoades Reply

    December 2, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    I’m a senior citizen healthcare worker, & despite the well documented fact flu shots don’t work in senior populations, I am required to either get the jab or wear a mask full time for half the year during flu season.

    It never ceases to amaze me, how many employees get sick with “influenza like illness” shortly after the deadline to get the shots.

    Sick employees walking around like zombies with NO MASKS because they’ve gotten the flu shot, while I am masked full time when I’m completely healthy.

    Madness! We live in interesting times!

  9. Colorado Reply

    December 2, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Kaiser uses employee shaming in Colorado. Workers whom do not take the flue shot have to wear a red scarlet dot on their badge. More patients than ever before are saying they don’t want the flue shot. The industry response; Force them to take it through tyrannical laws and regulations. My wife is an A rated worker and has received accolades and best employee rewards as a medical assistant. She is the go to person quite often, and has best rooming stats and all around skills, etc. She’s unable to pursue a career move to LPN or RN, because it is actually impossible to get through school and then also impossible to enter and maintain those positions, unless you agree to every single vaccine without question. This is how the industry has propagated the lies for this long, they bar entry from anyone whom may be well informed about medicine before they seek education. If you are reading this, please, where can we turn to get RN and LPN education without having to take every single shot, and which companies hire without such restrictions? We should be supporting the ethical companies first. I continue to knock down the flue shot tiny yard stand at king soopers, and now I’m thinking of even just taking it home and trashing it. The grocery store has no business practicing medicine or advocating for medical practice. All pharmaceutical ads should be banned from television. Are Americans so stupid they will actually ask for a medication where the solicitation commercial consists of 10 seconds of benefit, and 2 minutes of deadly side effect disclosure? Pharmaceutical advertisement is basically an admission of how dangerous these products are and why nobody should select them in the first place.

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