The heat is on: against a growing background beat of “Pandemic’s nearly here, pandemic’s nearly here!” the repeated refrain of “Vet more vaccinations, get more shots!” is getting louder, too.
This time, we have a speculative paper that strikes me as absurd in which children are placed at high risk for getting vaccinated with yet more untested, potentially dangerous and very, very profitable vaccinations. In this case, the call is for saving the lives of children by vaccinating them with vaccines which contain deadly poisons like mercury, formaldehyde, fetal DNA, steal viruses, fluoride, chrolides, aluminum, etc., for a disease whose impact is vastly overstated (see “Flu Shot Does Not Reduce Risk of Death” following and not particularly the analysis of statistical conclusions about the death rate from flu. The highly absurd figure of 36,000 deaths per year from flu is used to sell flu vaccines and fear. But all, that’s right, all, deaths from pneumonia or any other flu-related cause, whether it is or is not actually related to flu, is counted as a flu death in the grim sales pitch: get vaccinated or die.
As this second article cited shows, the reality, when examined closely, is nowhere near the puffery.
Well, what would you expect from a propaganda campaign?
Vaccinating Younger Population Minimizes Life-Years Lost to Influenza
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Sept 05 – Shifting the current vaccination strategy to target younger populations would reduce the number of years of life lost (YLL) to influenza, according to a report in the August 1st issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Vaccination allocation policy has been the subject of debate in light of several issues, among them the criticism by bioethicists of the inherent axiom that any life lost has the same value, regardless of the age of the deceased, the authors explain.
Dr. Mark A. Miller from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues sought to provide an alternative quantitative tool to help guide pandemic vaccine priority setting and achieve the greatest possible population impact, by preventing the loss of as many years of life as possible.
For a 1918-like pandemic scenario, in which most YLL occur for the younger age groups, the optimal vaccination group comprises people younger than 45 years, according to the models employed.
For a 1957-like epidemic, in which YLL were similar for older and middle age groups, it is unclear whether vaccinating the middle-age group would be better than vaccinating seniors, leading the investigators to conclude “that these age groups would be equally good choices.”
For a mild 1968-like influenza epidemic, the researchers note, vaccinating people 45 to 64 years old represents the optimal strategy for minimizing YLL.
“Our estimation is not an endorsement of any particular policy but highlights how the choice of health outcome metrics such as YLL can influence the prioritization of age groups to vaccinate in pandemic settings,” the authors explain. “It also shows that the vaccine priority scheme for seasonal influenza is not optimized to mitigate the impact of pandemic influenza.”
“These results suggest the need for pandemic plans to have an element of flexibility that allows the prioritization of age groups for immunization at the start of a pandemic to be modified as age-specific epidemiological data on the novel virus become available in real time,” the researchers conclude.
“Equally important, the question of who should be vaccinated first needs to be debated and reasoned through now, before the onset of a public health emergency, while we have the time to reflect on which decision-making metric is the most appropriate,” they add.
J Infect Dis 2008;198:305-311.
Flu Shot Does Not Reduce Risk Of Death, Research Shows
ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2008) Ã¢â‚¬â€ The widely-held perception that the influenza vaccination reduces overall mortality risk in the elderly does not withstand careful scrutiny, according to researchers in Alberta. The vaccine does confer protection against specific strains of influenza, but its overall benefit appears to have been exaggerated by a number of observational studies that found a very large reduction in all-cause mortality among elderly patients who had been vaccinated.
The study included more than 700 matched elderly subjects, half of whom had taken the vaccine and half of whom had not. After controlling for a wealth of variables that were largely not considered or simply not available in previous studies that reported the mortality benefit, the researchers concluded that any such benefit “if present at all, was very small and statistically non-significant and may simply be a healthy-user artifact that they were unable to identify.”
“While such a reduction in all-cause mortality would have been impressive, these mortality benefits are likely implausible. Previous studies were likely measuring a benefit not directly attributable to the vaccine itself, but something specific to the individuals who were vaccinatedÃ¢â‚¬â€a healthy-user benefit or frailty bias,” said Dean T. Eurich,Ph.D. clinical epidemiologist and assistant professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. “Over the last two decades in the United Sates, even while vaccination rates among the elderly have increased from 15 to 65 percent, there has been no commensurate decrease in hospital admissions or all-cause mortality. Further, only about 10 percent of winter-time deaths in the United States are attributable to influenza, thus to suggest that the vaccine can reduce 50 percent of deaths from all causes is implausible in our opinion.”
Dr. Eurich and colleagues hypothesized that if the healthy-user effect was responsible for the mortality benefit associated with influenza vaccination seen in observational studies, there should also be a significant mortality benefit present during the “off-season”.
To determine whether the observed mortality benefits were actually an effect of the flu vaccine, therefore, they analyzed clinical data from records of all six hospitals in the Capital Health region in Alberta. In total, they analyzed data from 704 patients 65 years of age and older who were admitted to the hospital for community-acquired pneumonia during non-flu season, half of whom had been vaccinated, and half of whom had not. Each vaccinated patient was matched to a non-vaccinated patient with similar demographics, medical conditions, functional status, smoking status and current prescription medications.
In examining in-hospital mortality, they found that 12 percent of the patients died overall, with a median length of stay of approximately eight days. While analysis with a model similar to that employed by past observational studies indeed showed that patients who were vaccinated were about half as likely to die as unvaccinated patients, a finding consistent with other studies, they found a striking difference after adjusting for detailed clinical information, such as the need for an advanced directive, pneumococcal immunizations, socioeconomic status, as well as sex, smoking, functional status and severity of disease. Controlling for those variables reduced the relative risk of death to a statistically non-significant 19 percent.