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Vaccinating Healthcare Workers Doesn’t Help Patients: Cochrane Study

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Gaia Health
January 14, 2013
by Heidi Stevenson

A Cochrane study shows that healthcare workers’ flu vaccines do not benefit their elderly patients. Nurses are fired for refusing vaccines, in spite of the fact that there is no evidence it helps patients. Evidence-based medicine?

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by Heidi Stevenson

Healthcare workers are now being fired or forced to quit for refusing to be jabbed with influenza vaccinations. Yet, as Gaia Health reported over two years ago, there is no evidence that anyone benefits when their healthcare workers receive flu vaccines. Here’s that report:

Healthcare workers are commonly pressed to submit to influenza vaccinations on the claim that it protects their patients. However, a recent study published by the Cochrane Collaboration demonstrates that there is no truth in the claim. Patients of vaccinated healthcare workers do not benefit from their carers’ vaccinations.

The study, entitled “Influenza vaccination for healthcare workers who work with the elderly”, is a meta analysis. It focused on four types of events: laboratory-proven influenza, lower respiratory tract infections, admissions to hospitals, and death from pneumonia. These are each directly related to influenza.

Influenza-like illnesses, which are often lumped in with influenza statistics—most notoriously by government agencies, like the CDC—are unaffected by flu vaccines, so a focus on lab-proven flu is indicative of a study designed to find the truth, rather than a predetermined outcome.

The Study

The authors point out that only 7-10% of all influenza-like illnesses are actually caused by influenza. They also point out that:

Nurses and (in some institutions) physicians, tend to have lower influenza vaccination rates than other healthcare workers. This relatively low uptake may partly be a reflection of doubts as to the vaccine’s effectiveness (its ability to prevent influenza-like illness (ILI) and efficacy (its ability to prevent influenza).

The data they referenced for nurses’ and doctors’ low uptake of flu vaccines was from 1999. One must wonder what those doctors and nurses who were refusing the vaccine knew when they were pressing their patients to have vaccinations.

In explaining why it’s believed that healthcare workers should be vaccinated, the authors stated

Healthcare workers are the key group who enter nursing and longterm care facilities on a daily basis. Immune systems of the elderly are less responsive to vaccination, and vaccinating healthcare workers should reduce the exposure of elderly people to influenza.

The authors examined four studies of influenza vaccinations on healthcare workers, with a total of 20,300 subjects, all healthcare workers involved with the care of people aged 60 and over. They concluded:

No effect was shown for specific outcomes: laboratory-proven influenza, pneumonia and death from pneumonia.

So, for all the concerns about protecting the health of the elderly from unvaccinated healthcare workers, what was the study’s finding? Nada. Nothing. Nil. They found that vaccinating healthcare workers did nothing to protect the elderly from flu or its effects. They found very small associations in a couple of the studies, which may reveal more about the bias of those studies’ authors than anything else.

Some small effects in vaccinating healthcare workers were found: Three studies showed a slightly reduced rate of influenza-like illnesses. One study showed that it resulted in reduced visits to GPs for influenza-like illnesses. Pooling data from three of the randomly-controlled trials showed overall mortality to be reduced. Pooled data from two of the randomly-controlled trials showed no effect on hospital admissions.

A common trick in influenza vaccine studies and governmental reporting is to report all influenza-like cases as if they were actually influenza. As the authors noted, that is far from true, with only 7-10% being flu. Those studies that reported on influenza-like diseases and connected them with flu vaccines—which have no effect on influenza-like diseases—were clearly not presenting data accurately. In fact, the authors noted that all the studies were at high risk of bias—and this conflation of flu-like illnesses with genuine influenza clearly demonstrates that fact.

Thus, this meta study is highly significant. It found that, even among studies with a bias that are likely pro-vaccine, no benefit could be shown for the patients of healthcare workers who had been vaccinated. At this point, it’s clear that the pressure to vaccinate healthcare workers is based on a false premise.

So, now in 2013, we are seeing increasing pressure on healthcare workers to get influenza vaccines—pressure to the point of coercion, with people losing their jobs if they don’t acquiesce—for absolutely no legitimate evidence-based reason.

It is now abundantly clear that the only reason these healthcare workers are losing their jobs for refusing flu vaccines is to protect the profits of Big Pharma and increase the income of doctors who go along with the coercion. It has nothing to do with the phony “evidence-based medicine” that’s routinely touted as being the unquestionable basis of modern medicine.

We have entered a new era in which our bodies are treated as the sacred territory of the God Pharma Profit. All must bow down to its insatiable appetite for ever greater pieces of our being, and anyone who dares to stand against the Profit God must lose his place in society. So sayeth the Pharma Profit Scriptures.

Source:

Influenza vaccination for health-care workers who work with elderly people in institutions: a systematic review.



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