Flu Shots Futile: Study

Nursing Home Test; ‘Didn’t find’ proof immunization stops virus

Tom Blackwell, National Post Published: Thursday, March 11, 2010

Study co-author Dr. Tom Jefferson says he "can't see any reason" for vaccinating anyone against flu -- arguing the shots did nothing to save lives -- and that most influenza-vaccine studies are "rubbish." Larry Downing/Reuters Study co-author Dr. Tom Jefferson says he “can’t see any reason” for vaccinating anyone against flu — arguing the shots did nothing to save lives.

A new Canadian-led study has added to a simmering scientific dispute over flu-shot campaigns, concluding that immunizing nursing-home workers does nothing to cut the number of confirmed influenza cases among the homes’ elderly residents.

Coming at the end of the largest flu-vaccination campaign in Canadian history, the review of previous studies calls for stepped-up research into alternative, lower-tech ways to combat the virus, such as improved hand washing.

“What troubled us is that [shots] had no effect on laboratory-confirmed influenza,” said Dr. Roger Thomas of the University of Calgary, lead author of the paper published by the respected Cochrane Library.

“What we were looking for is proof that influenza … is decreased. Didn’t find it. We looked for proof that pneumonia is reduced. Didn’t find it. We looked for proof deaths from pneumonia are reduced. Didn’t find it.”

A prominent flu expert, however, calls the authors’ conclusions misleading, noting that vaccinating workers does, in fact, lessen the amount of influenza-like sickness and the number of deaths from all causes among those nursing-home denizens. That is all that really matters, said Dr. Allison McGeer, infectious disease specialist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

This entry was posted in Vaccines. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s