The Flu Shot Lie!
The health industry is lying to you and you probably have no idea it is even occurring! Like most lies, this one is meant to control your thoughts and behavior. In this case it is meant to preserve the reputation and future profits of the flu vaccination program. Let me expose this lie for you.
Have you ever heard it said that if you proclaim something often enough and with confidence, it will become truth even if it is completely false? We see examples of this all of the time in advertising and in politics. But, unfortunately we also see examples of it in medicine. I say unfortunately because deep down we almost expect to be lied to by advertisers and politicians. However, we most certainly do not expect this kind of misleading behavior from those who are charged with caring for us.
This orchestrated lie is employed every time we find out that the current flu shot is not a good match for the strains of flu affecting people during that year. Because this news has the potential of having a negative effect on the perceived importance of getting a flu shot each season, you will hear the following proclamation from the television, radio and print news over and over again:
“The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has announce that the current flu shot is not a good match for the strains affecting Americans this season. However, doctors urge patients to still get the shot because it may help to reduce the intensity of symptoms if you get the current flu.”
This is an absolute fabrication. It is based on nothing in the scientific literature and has been completely made up. In simpler terms, this is a lie! In fact, there are studies which show just the opposite and I have written about these in my articles “Flu Shots: Trick or Treat” and “Roll Up Your Sleeves …Cross Your Fingers! Say No to 3 Shots!”
The curious thing is that this lie has gained acceptance not only in the general public, but also amongst medical professionals. How in the world could medical doctors and the like not be able to detect this lie immediately if they are in “the know” about these topics? I have some ideas as to why.
Doctors Blindly Parrot The Lie!
Just about every doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant and nurse I know will repeat this lie to their patients, friends and family. The question is why. Please let me make something very clear right away. I DO NOT believe that these health professionals are lying. I believe they have just blindly accepted what they have heard as fact and are repeating it verbatim. I believe they think what they are saying is the truth, which means that they are not liars. They are, however, guilty of accepting the lie without questioning it and are at fault for repeating this nonsense.
Let me give you some insights from my experience as to why this has occurred.
Every health professional I know is extremely busy. Thus, when they hear something they want to be true, they rarely research the validity of the claim. In the case of the lie that getting a flu vaccine will reduce the symptoms of other illnesses, doctors have a vested interest in wanting this to be true. Think about it for a moment. Doctors have urged their patients (and in some cases applied significant pressure through guilt and scare tactics) to get their flu shot and to have their kids get the shots too. Now the patient realizes that this recommendation was worthless and that they and their children got a flu shot for no reason.
As a doctor it kind of stinks that you know your recommendation not only ended up being of no benefit to your patients, but caused some to suffer side effects. You realize that if this were to occur too often your patients could lose faith in your recommendations. No doctor likes the thought that this could be the case. Then you hear in the news that even if the flu shot was not a good match it was still beneficial because it would help reduce the symptoms if your patient caught this season’s flu. Can you see how doctors would want this to be true?
If you believe that a busy health professional heard this and then validated it by looking at the research, you are naive. No, they heard this the same way you did (on the news) and accepted it without question because they wanted it to be true. Any medical professional reading this article can prove me wrong by sending me the references to the articles they researched to validate the claim of flu vaccine benefit, even when there was no match in the shot for the viruses circulating this season. No such research exists and to date I have not received one email from a health professional.
The Real Reason For The Lie
Medical professionals may be guilty of blindly repeating a lie, but they certainly are not the ones who made it up. We all know that if you follow the money you will find who initiated the lie. But, I do not think it is important to identify the initiator of the lie. Instead, I think it is important for you to understand the real reason behind the lie. The real reason for the lie is to make sure that you do not stop getting a flu shot in the future. The lie is meant to protect the reputation and future profits of the flu vaccine. Do not believe for a second that they are worried about your health or that of your family.
Fast forward to next year when your doctor recommends that you and your family get their flu shots. They know full well that many will remember that last year’s flu shot was worthless and that this knowledge will temper their enthusiasm to get a shot this time around. This lack of confidence in the flu shot will lead to many just sitting it out next flu season. The end result would be a loss of many millions of dollars. And, if the trend of not matching the strain were to occur again it could mean the death of flu shot profits for years to come. So, they fabricate a lie that they know doctors would not question, would likely repeat and that would help to reduce the loss of consumer confidence in getting a flu shot.
The Additional Deception
In addition to fabricating this lie, they have to hide one more fact, which could cause the public to seriously question the effectiveness of the flu shot in the future. The fact that the flu shot may not be effective in any given flu season basically has no effect on the number of kids who die each year because of the flu.
For example, in the 2012-13 flu season there were 171 children who died from the flu and the flu shot was estimated to be 49% effective. During the 2013-14 season the CDC reported 111 deaths with a 52% effectiveness. During the 2014-15 season it was 148 deaths with a 19% effectiveness and in 2015-16 there were 89 deaths with a 47% effectiveness. Thus, the effectiveness of the flu shot seems to have no significant impact on reducing or increasing the number of deaths by flu. In other words, the flu shot is basically worthless!
This truth could potentially cause a collapse in the flu vaccine industry future profits. It would be very hard to put forth a convincing argument that a season without a flu vaccine would be a bad flu season. So, they keep this information under wraps, use scare tactics to imply just the opposite, and make up the lie that even if the shot for the year does not match the strain it could still help.
Now you are in the know!