It’s that time of year again! October is here, leaves are turning, and a chill is in the air. All of which serves as my annual cue to remind you why you shouldn’t get a flu shot.
My job will be somewhat easier this year, though — because I recently came across some very sobering statistics I’d like to share with you.
Now, it might take a minute for all of this to make sense to you because, as most medical statistics go, these are also presented in favor of the vaccine. But let’s start with the facts — which, even when glossed over, are pretty sad.
Like this one: Last year’s flu shot was 42 percent effective in preventing influenza infection among people of all ages. (Pay attention to those words, “of all ages” — it’s the kind of classic sleight of hand I’m talking about.)
This was even lower than the 48 percent effectiveness rate that the vaccine was originally predicted to have, which is really saying something.
Before I go any further, I have to ask: Is there any other treatment you can think of that’s practically forced onto people wherever they go? Where those who refuse to comply are ostracized? All for a mere 42 percent effectiveness rate?
I mean, you have better odds of not getting the flu in the first place! But now, for the really fun facts…
The vaccine worked best for kids between six months and eight years old, with an effectiveness rate of 61 percent. But it was least effective among adults between 18 and 49 years, with only 19 percent effectiveness. And among seniors aged 65 and older?
Well, among this especially vulnerable group, the flu shot was 25 percent effective. And no, that’s not a typo.
Excuse me, but… WHAT?!
Let’s go over this again, but in terms that haven’t been handpicked by the CDC.
In essence, what these numbers tell you is that the vaccine worked great in kids with hardy, healthy immune systems. But for the rest of us, it did diddly squat.
Take those kids out of the equation, and the real effectiveness of the vaccine falls to 22 percent. That’s fewer than 1 in 4 people saw a benefit from getting the shot.
Which would be fine if getting the vaccine was as risk-free as they say it is. But it’s not…
Some people experience life-threatening allergic reactions to the flu shot. Some even come down with symptoms of the flu itself. At the very least, you end up with a really sore arm… all for a vaccine that only works 22 percent of the time.
What’s more, numbers show that vaccine effectiveness is hugely variable according to virus type. And the type that dominated the 2016/2017 flu season? Well it just so happens that the shot’s effectiveness was at its lowest against that strain — only 34 percent effective. And that’s across all age groups — including those healthy young kids.
Which means they chose the wrong flu strain on which to base the annual vaccine — a fairly common and typical occurrence, I should add. The only good thing you can say about last year’s shot is that it was more effective than the 2014/2015 shot, which was only 23 percent effective.
And finally, if you’re thinking about hedging your bets on the inhaled vaccine, think again. Apparently, even the CDC is admitting it doesn’t really work that well.
So as usual, here is my recommendation: I never get a flu shot — and most of my patients don’t either. Believe it or not, people with intact immune systems can survive the season fairly well without so much as a sniffle. So I choose to focus my resources and attention there.
My flu-proofing strategy is simple. Here’s the abbreviated version:
- Avoid sugar.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Take 1,000 mg of AHCC per day.
But those are only the most basic steps. I outlined my full immune-fortifying protocol in the June 2014 issue of my monthly newsletter Logical Health Alternatives.
As always, subscribers have access to that article and more in my archives (you can view these by simply logging in with your username and password to the Subscriber section of www.drpescatore.com). If you’re not yet a subscriber, I can’t think of a better time than now!
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