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Expert Questions Flu Vaccine's Safety, Effectiveness

Posted by on May. 22, 2013 at 8:35 AM
  • 14 Replies
2 moms liked this

Expert Questions Flu Vaccine's Safety, Effectiveness

by Lindsay Ferrier 

FlickrBased on my pediatrician's advice, I have made a point of getting my kids and myself a flu shot every single year.

So you'd better believe I sat up and took notice when a Johns Hopkins scientist released a study recently that questions whether the flu shot is as safe and effective as we've been led to believe.

Suddenly, I'm not feeling so good about those flu shots.

The article was written by Peter Doshi, PhD, a scientist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and published in the British Medical Journal. In it, Doshi had some pretty strong words for the CDC.

For one thing, Doshi says the shot has been poorly tested in studies that used subjects who tended to be healthy, as opposed to the general population.

"Here the salesmen are public health officials, worried little about which brand of vaccine you get so long as they can convince you to take influenza seriously," he wrote. "But it is essential to base those messages on solid science, and here is where CDC is failing when it comes to influenza."

As for the flu shot's safety, Doshi wrote, "For most people, and possibly most doctors, officials need only claim that vaccines save lives, and it is assumed there must be solid research behind it." But he questioned whether that was really the case, citing an Australian study that showed one in every 110 kids under 5 had convulsions after getting the flu shot in 2009 for H1N1. The H1N1 vaccine also has been linked to cases of narcolepsy in adolescents, according to NewsMax.

The bottom line, according to Doshi? "The vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza seems to be overstated," he wrote.

It's food for thought.

My father's a doctor and has long been opposed to my family and me getting the flu vaccination. He's always believed that the risks outweigh the benefits -- still, I thought I knew best.

Now, I'm not so sure.

What are your thoughts? Do you get the flu shot for your kids? Will you continue to do so?

by on May. 22, 2013 at 8:35 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Member on May. 22, 2013 at 8:37 AM
We skip that pointless shot every year.
by Christy on May. 22, 2013 at 8:38 AM

I do not get the flu shots for the kids. The reason is they end up sick for a long time afterwards. Not the flu mind you but just sort of a reaction or lowered immunity and they pick up every cold and virus which sets in an gets pretty bad. So in the interest of not having missed days from school we do not give the kids flu shots. The times they got them they also got the flu that year. So I can agree with the idea presented here. I think it is a waste and my kids are in the at risk category but it is all about weighing the pros and cons.

by Runt on May. 22, 2013 at 9:14 AM


No, we avoid this shot.  My daughter got it her first three years and still managed to get the flu three times.  So for the last three years, we have avoided it and my son has never had it.  I regret being ignorant and not doing my own research before giving it to my daughter. 

by Bronze Member on May. 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM

I'm required to get it every year by my employer. I have received a flu shot almost every year, and the one year that I didn't get a flu shot I got the flu. And I don't mean a bad cold that made me feel sick for a couple days, I mean full-on, hooked up to an IV in the hospital influenza. I never, ever want to go through that again.

So I always make sure to get it.

by Member on May. 22, 2013 at 9:31 AM
I don't get the flu shot for myself or my son. I don't really see the need, despite us both being in a high risk category this last year (me pregnant and he's a toddler). I don't legitimately consider us high risk, though. I am a SAHM and he stays home with me. I would rather save the flu shot for people who truly need it, like the elderly and those in ill health. Maybe if there weren't shortages every year, I would reconsider getting it.
by on May. 22, 2013 at 9:47 AM
I skip it every year and so does my dd. I find it pointless because I have seen people get them end up getting flu like symptoms. I also felt like they were wanting everyone to get them for money reasons not so much people's health
by Platinum Member on May. 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM
1 mom liked this

 "May be" less beneficial?

Useless, is more like it.  And they have known this for years and years.  All the data is there.  Last year, it was reported that it was like 1% useful. 

by Milami on May. 22, 2013 at 3:24 PM
Our family does not get the flu vaccines. My husband is allergic and I'd rather not feel like crap for days after.
by Ruby Member on May. 22, 2013 at 5:02 PM
As if this were somehow new information.
by Bronze Member on May. 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM
No way. They are a joke. So many ways to prevent it other than vaccines. Besides viruses mutatet thats how they stay alive. They change from year to year. Side effects of vaccine worse than flu for most people.
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