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British Lancet study shows Flu vaccine’s effectiveness is less than 2%

A new scientific study published in The Lancet reveals that influenza vaccines only prevent influenza in 1.5 out of every 100 adults who are injected with the flu vaccine. Yet, this report is being touted mainstream media as proof that “flu vaccines are 60% effective!”

The “60% effectiveness” claim is not supported by the study and is highly misleading. For starters, most people think that “60% effectiveness” means that for every 100 people injected with the flu shot, 60 of them won’t get the flu.

Thus, the “60% effectiveness” claim implies that getting a flu shot has about a 6 in 10 chance of preventing you from getting the flu.

In reality — and this is spelled out right in Figure 2 of the study itself, which is entitled, “Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccines: a systematic review and meta-analysis” — only about 2.7 in 100 adults get the flu in the first place!

See the abstract at:
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/l…

Flu vaccine stops influenza in only 1.5 out of 100 adults who get the shots.

When you have a closer look at  the actual numbers from the study the real effectiveness of these vaccines become apparent.

The “control group” of adults consisted of 13,095 non-vaccinated adults who were monitored to see if they caught influenza. Over97% of them did not. Only 357 of them caught influenza, which means only 2.7% of these adults caught the fluin the first place.

The “treatment group” consisted of adults who were vaccinated with atrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine. Out of this group, according to the study,only 1.2% did not catch the flu.

The difference between these two groups is 1.5 people out of 100.

Flu vaccines only prevent the flu in 1.5 out of every 100 adults injected with the vaccine!

So where does the 60% effectiveness come from?

This is called “massaging the numbers,” and it’s an old statistical trick that has been used in the past by those who wishes to hide the link between tobacco and lung cancer.

First, you take the 2.73% in the control group who got the flu, and you divide that into the 1.18% in the treatment group who got the flu. This gives you 0.43.

You can then say that 0.43 is “43% of 2.73,” and claim that the vaccine therefore results in a “57% decrease” in influenza infections. This then becomes a “57% effectiveness rate” claim.

The overall “60% effectiveness” being claimed from this study comes from adding additional data about vaccine efficacy forchildren, which returned higher numbers than adults (see below). There were other problems with the data for children, however, including one study that showed anincreasein influenza rates in the second yearafter the flu shot.

So when the media (or your doctor, or pharmacist, or CDC official) says these vaccines are “60% effective,” what they really mean is thatyou would have to inject 100 adults to avoid the flu in just 1.5 of them.

Or, put another way,flu vaccines do nothing in 98.5% of adults.

So if you are considering getting a flu vaccination, you may wish to discuss with your healthcare professional if it worth taking a medicine that is only 1.5% effective.

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