Thursday, November 23, 2006

Does the flu shot do more harm than good?

Connie Howard from the VueWeekly, an Edmonton Independent news and weekly columnist says we should be taking the available vaccination programs with a pinch of salt.

One of the things to consider, is Thimerosol which is a mercury derivative primarily used as a preservative in vaccines. The only thing to keep in mind though, is the toxicity of mercury to our brains. It is no longer used in childhood vaccines in Canada, but still used in flu vaccines, because adult brains are less susceptible to toxicity than developing ones.

Connie reminds us to consider the whole efficacy debate around the flu vaccine. Health officials make educated guesses about which flu strains are most likely to appear the following year. Based on their information, the efficacy in groups most recommended for the shots is 30 to 40 percent. The irony is that pneumonia and flu hospitalization rates for those in the high-risk category (newborns and the elderly) are less than one percent during flu season.

This seems to indicate a gap between flu prevention policy and evidence of efficacy and safety. Some of you may be aware that the flu medicine called Tamiflu, is being stockpiled like mad in the event of a bird flu outbreak. Although experts have questioned its efficacy, other flu medicines just don’t seem to rake in the same big profits.


VueWeekly, Edmonton’s 100% Independent news an Entertainment Weekly (2006). Well, well, well (Electronic version). Retrieved November 23, 2006

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