High-Dose Flu Vaccine has Higher Rates of Serious Adverse Events
According to the manufacturer’s safety studies, compared to the regular Fluzone vaccine the high-dose version not only resulted in more frequent reports of common adverse reactions, it also caused slightly higher rates of Serious Adverse Events (SAE’s).
A total of 6.1 percent of seniors injected with the regular Fluzone vaccine experienced a serious adverse event, compared to 7.4 percent of those receiving the high-dose version. According to the package insert, the SAE’s reported during the post-approval use of the vaccine include:
Thrombocytopenia (abnormally low platelet count, which can result in abnormal bleeding)
Myelitis (spinal cord inflammation)
Optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)
Lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes)
Facial palsy (Bell’s palsy)
Paresthesia (numbness/tingling of the skin)
Anaphylaxis (life-threatening whole-body allergic reaction)
Vasculitis (inflammatory destruction of blood vessels)
Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
Brachial neuritis (excruciating unilateral shoulder pain, followed by paralysis of shoulder)
Pharyngitis and rhinitis (inflammation of the throat or pharynx, and the nose, respectively)
Convulsions, fainting, dizzyness
Shocking LACK of Evidence Supporting Flu Vaccines
While the annual flu vaccine is touted as the “best” way to avoid catching the seasonal flu, what many fail to realize is that there’s virtually NO good scientific evidence to support it. Again and again, the Cochrane Database Review—which is the gold standard for assessing the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of commonly used medical interventions—has concluded that flu vaccines do not appear to have any measurable benefit either for children, adults, or seniors.
Take a look at these five Cochrane Database Reviews, published between 2006 and 2010, which call into serious question the claim that flu shots are the best way to stay healthy during the flu season.
1. Last year, Cochrane reviewed the available scientific evidence that flu shots protect the elderly, and the results were abysmal. The authors concluded that:
“The available evidence is of poor quality and provides no guidance regarding the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 years or older.”
2. Cochrane reviewers also evaluated whether or not flu shots given to health care workers can help protect the elderly patients in nursing homes with whom they work. The research did not find an effect from the vaccinations on laboratory-confirmed influenza. Influenza vaccinations were also not linked to a reduction in either pneumonia or deaths from pneumonia. In conclusion, the authors state that:
“[T]here is no evidence that vaccinating health care workers prevents influenza in elderly residents in long-term care facilities.
3. Ditto for children. A large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in preventing influenza in children under two. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.
4. Two years, later, in 2008, another Cochrane review again concluded that “little evidence is available” that the flu vaccine is effective in preventing influenza in children under the age of two.
5. As for the general adult population, Cochrane published the following bombshell conclusion last year:
“Influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost. There is no evidence that they affect complications, such as pneumonia, or transmission.
WARNING: This review includes 15 out of 36 trials funded by industry (four had no funding declaration). An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 found industry funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size. Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favorable to the vaccines.
The review demonstrated that reliable scientific evidence confirming that influenza vaccines are effective is thin and there is plenty of reason to suspect that there may be a manipulation of conclusions when the studies are funded by drug companies. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding.” [Emphasis mine.]
Until next time,