America skips out on flu vaccinations
What a difference a year makes: Last winter, you couldn't get a flu shot if you begged for one... while this season, they can't give the things away.
The chain pharmacies banked big on another round of flu fear this year -- and now, they're sitting on millions and millions of unused doses. It was such an epic miscalculation that they're feeling their own chills as stock prices take a hit.
And if you're among the two-thirds of Americans who've said no to the needle, don't worry... because the latest science backs you up.
What'd I tell ya?
Researchers from The Cochrane Collaboration examined 50 studies -- including 40 clinical trials -- on flu vaccinations, and found only the most minimal of benefits: slightly fewer symptoms, and slightly fewer work days missed among those who get the shot.
But they found zippo in just about every other measure -- including no reduction in the rate of complications such as hospitalizations and pneumonia, and no evidence that flu shots slow the spread of the disease.
On the other hand, they found plenty of evidence of funny business.
"The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies," they wrote.
They also discovered that studies with no Big Pharma backing were "significantly less likely to report conclusions favorable to the vaccines."
Coincidence? Not a chance!
While I'm on the topic, I've got a special warning for seniors. They're coming after us hard this year with a whole lot of mumbo jumbo about the new Fluzone High Dose shot.
It comes with some "high dose" risks, too. Just check out this classic bit of doublespeak from the CDC:
"The safety profile of Fluzone High-Dose vaccine is similar to that of regular flu vaccines although adverse events (which are also reported after regular flu vaccines) were reported more frequently after vaccination with Fluzone High-Dose."
So let me get this straight: It's similar. No wait, it's worse. No wait, it's similar, but only because the regular flu shot is already bad. But it's also worse.
It's like watching a lunatic argue with himself, and lose.
Allow me to simplify: High dose or low dose, the only flu shot you need is no dose.