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'Influenza vaccine has no effect': study

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 17 Feb 2010, 08:14

Published: 17 Feb 2010 08:14 GMT+01:00

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The Cochrane Collaboration, an international not-for-profit organization providing up-to-date information about the effects of health care, has compiled data from 40 flu seasons worldwide.

The institute has concluded from the studies that there is no clear evidence to suggest that the flu jab offers any more protection than cheaper, hygiene-based methods such as hand-washing.

"Our analysis is compiled using millions of data from 40 seasons worldwide. What we have seen is that the influenza vaccine can at best have a very small effect," said Thomas Jefferson, one of the authors of the report, to the newspaper.

The Swedish Welfare Board (Socialstyrelsen) has for the past 40 years advised all those over 65-years-old to take an annual dose.

Most local health authorities in Sweden pay for the flu jab at a cost to the taxpayer of 25-30 million kronor ($3.5 million) per annum.

This is not the first time the Cochrane Collaboration has sounded the alarm over the paltry effects of the vaccine with a report published four years ago drawing the same conclusions, according to the newspaper.

Story continues below…

The institute has now selected the best 75 of the available studies for this latest review of the evidence. While conceding that the studies are not of the best research quality, it concludes there is little evidence to suggest that the flu vaccine has any real effect.

The institute thus recommends a larger international, state-financed study to examine the vaccine and existing healthcare recommendations.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:07 February 17, 2010 by calebian22
Well, they need it the if they are part of the 50% of the population that doesn't wash their hands after bathroom usage. :-)
12:24 February 17, 2010 by Audrian
The problem with vaccine is that they do no go through a strickt procedure, which takes several years of research and several years of testing drugs for effectiveness and safty. The fear of epidemic and mass death makes governments lenient towards drug companies and go along with what ever they claim. Drug companies, which are eager to maximize profit, take advantage.
14:55 February 17, 2010 by Puffin
@ Audrian

This study is not about Swine flu - it relates to a study of seaonal flu vaccinations for 40 years
16:49 February 17, 2010 by Benoit_
People are stupid to think that these vaccinations are going to help in the long run. People need to wake up and understand that the pharmaceutical company will do whatever it can to stay in business, even if that means damaging the health of millions with completely useless medications and shots, much like this one.

Wake up people, if you really think chemicals in a needle will prevent you from getting the flu, you got another thing coming.

Remember, healthy people dont make the pharmaceutical industry money.
17:54 February 17, 2010 by Davey-jo
This is not really so surprising considering that the flu vaccine is made on a "best guess" as to main strain of virus in the upcoming winter. It's a gamble albeit based on strong statistical and epidemiological grounds... and it often doesn't work.
05:48 February 18, 2010 by xenyasai
@Benoit_: Then why do we have the TBC vaccine?
09:30 February 18, 2010 by Swedeabroad
No effects? A study of the negative effects is lacking ...

It is nice to be able to discuss this more openly in a Swedish publication!

Some Swedish blogs (such as the one of a major evening newspaper) censor comments and remove those who are "too" critical ...

You may, at most, express doubts, but no negative facts about the vaccination - and the media only cautiously, if at all, report the latter.
21:57 February 18, 2010 by Redfray
There are 75 known viruses that cause the flu. One flu shot will not take care of all 75, you must be vaccinated for each one. If you figure the odds of you getting the one you were vaccinated for, you would be better off at the horse races. I think we are missing the point, which has nothing to do with the flu. Flu shots are a way the governments can spend money to do nothing. When government officials try to out guess nature, its like politician forecasting the weather. You know, "Global Warming"? We need a shot that protects us from government stupidity.
05:11 February 19, 2010 by Da Goat
Maybe the vaccines are just sugar water (placebo) that are charged out at many kroner

for free money what a beautiful scam !

I recall that the vaccines never work, one would think there is a good chance that @ 75:1 there should be some benefit.... but no so I am thinking anyone who is stupid enough to take Flu vaccine can just live with the consequences whatever the luck of the draw I am lead to believe there is nasty stuff in the vial but little of any use!

healthy people don't need it and it does not work for sick people so it is effectively as useless as mammaries on a bull!
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