Fall and winter is flu season and many Americans respond to this threat with an annual flu shot. Posters on drug store walls and entryways ask, “Have you had your flu shot yet?” There is a clear expectation in the message, that every person should comply. Last year, 135 million doses of flu vaccine were distributed. Although this represents only 14% of our population, this is indeed a large number. Flu vaccines are big business.
The CDC says 200,000 Americans are hospitalized with the flu each year. But they also say they don’t actually know the number of cases of adults who contract the flu or died from the flu, nor do they publicize the number of people who contract vaccine injuries including the number of vaccinated patients who develop Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
Flu shots are not infallible. First, the viral strain (or strains) used to manufacture the vaccine is based on the best guess of which flu strain will spread during the next flu season. Add to this best guess scenario the fact the viruses mutate. Even if the correct strain was chosen, a mutation may render the vaccine useless.
The CDC reports an estimated average of 23,607 annual flu-related deaths. They explain that these numbers are estimated because mandatory reporting of flu victims is limited to children under the age of 17. They state that they do not know the exact number of flu deaths (or cases of flu) due to the following reasons:
- States are not required to report flu deaths in adults (18 years and older).
- Influenza is rarely listed on the death certificate as a cause of death when patients die of flu-related illnesses (such as pneumonia).
- Many flu-related deaths occur weeks after the initial flu infection due to a secondary infection or complications of an existing chronic condition.
- Most of the people who die from flu-related complications are never tested for influenza and if they were, the virus would not show up in tests weeks after the infection (tests must be administered within a week of onset). Tests would show that they have antibodies to the flu, but that would not necessarily mean that the antibodies are from the current infection; they may be from a previous infection.
- False negative test results are common.
The annual estimate of 23,607 deaths due to flu reflects estimated annual averages that have ranged from 3,349 (1986-87 flu season) to 48,614 (2003-04 flu season). These numbers are derived from reported flu-related child deaths and the estimated number of adults that die from “flu-related illness.” Reported child deaths average 113 per year from the 2003-04 flu season through the 2013-14 flu season with a low of 39 in the 2004-05 flu season and a high of 282 in the 2009-10 flu season (the year of the swine flu). This leaves 23,494 average adult deaths that are attributed to the flu but are not officially reported as such.
The CDC derives their annual number based on the number of adults whose death certificates cite the following causes of death: pneumonia and influenza (P&I) and respiratory and circulatory (R&I) causes. They state:
CDC uses underlying R&C deaths (which include P&I deaths) as the primary outcome in its mortality modeling because R&C deaths provide an estimate of deaths that include secondary respiratory or cardiac complications that follow influenza. R&C causes of death are more sensitive than underlying P&I deaths and more specific than deaths from all causes.
Granted, the CDC uses a sophisticated computer software program and all available data to project numbers. But the official count of influenza is further muddied by lumping influenza and pneumonia together when ranking the 15 top causes of death in the U.S. For 2011, influenza and pneumonia together ranked at number 8 with 53,667 deaths. There is no list for influenza alone. And yet, the statistics lead one to believe influenza is the leading contagion causing death in this country.
If the CDC is going to push their agenda of flu shots, at the very least, flu shots should not include toxins like mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde. Learn the facts before you choose a flu vaccine.
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