S. L. Baker
July 14, 2009
At the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society recently held in San Diego, researchers presented a study showing that the flu vaccine - widely touted as a "must have" for children with chronic illnesses - isn't effective in preventing influenza-related hospitalizations in children, especially ones with asthma. But here's the most damning evidence that flu shots aren't the safe, helpful vaccine the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other government agencies claim: the researchers also found that children who get the flu vaccine are more at risk for hospitalization than their peers who do not get the vaccine.
Scientist Avni Joshi, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told the meeting, "The concerns that vaccination may be associated with asthma exacerbations have been disproved with multiple studies in the past, but the vaccine's effectiveness has not been well-established. This study was aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the TIV (trivalent inactivated flu vaccine in children overall, as well as the children with asthma, to prevent influenza-related hospitalization."
Paradoxically, he then presented the results that appeared to show the vaccine did cause health problems serious enough to result in children being admitted to hospitals for care.
The children were harmed by influenza vaccines
To see if the vaccine actually reduced the number of hospitalizations for all children, especially those with asthma, over eight consecutive flu seasons, Dr. Joshi and his research team conducted a cohort study of 263 children. All the youngsters had been evaluated at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota between the ages of six months to 18 years and each had had laboratory-confirmed flu between 1996 to 2006. The scientists documented which of the children had been vaccinated against the flu, and those that had not received the flu jab. The kids' asthma status was also noted along with records of and who did and did not require hospitalization.
Then the investigators checked the records for each child research subject to see who had been vaccinated before experiencing a flu-related episode that lead to a hospitalization during that illness. The results showed that youngsters who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization, as compared to children who had not received the vaccine. For kids with asthma, there was even a higher risk of hospitalization in subjects who received the flu shot. No other measured factors, which included insurance coverage or severity of asthma, was found to impact the risk of hospitalization.
So does this raise a red flag against vaccinating children, especially those who are asthmatic, against the flu? Incredibly, despite the findings of his own study, Dr. Joshi refused to find fault with the flu shot. "While these findings do raise questions about the efficacy of the vaccine, they do not in fact implicate it as a cause of hospitalizations," Dr. Joshi said in a statement to the media. "More studies are needed to assess not only the immunogenicity, but also the efficacy of different influenza vaccines in asthmatic subjects."
The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) continue to recommend annual influenza vaccination for all children aged six months to 18 years. Moreover, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (3rd revision) pushes annual flu vaccination of asthmatic children older than six months. However, as reported last fall in Natural News there's little evidence flu shots work for youngsters. A large study reported in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews of 260,000 children between 23 month and six discovered that the flu vaccine is no more effective that a placebo.