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Please do your own research on medical topics from reputable sources…don’t believe everything you see on facebook or other internet sources.
For example, this article looks totally reputable and is all over Facebook: click here for article . It is supposedly from a Johns Hopkins scientist who states that the flu shot is ineffective and dangerous. Without getting into the whole vaccine debate, here are a few points of interest to consider in this specific article…
Peter Doshi is not a Johns Hopkins expert on the flu. In fact, he is neither an epidemiologist, nor a virologist, and has never personally conducted any medical research on infectious diseases, including the flu. His degree is in anthropology and he completed a fellowship in comparative effectiveness research at Johns Hopkins. He is not employed by Johns Hopkins, and his view is not supported by the university. In fact, Johns Hopkins requires that all health care employees get a flu vaccine in order to prevent flu transmission among patients and employees.Click here to see Johns Hopkins employee flu policies.
Also, there’s no doubt that Big Pharma profits from disease; however, keep in mind that vaccines are not particularly profitable products. Vaccines have short shelf lives and do not generate long term profits, plus the required research to get a vaccine to market is incredibly expensive. In fact, we have faced several vaccine shortages in the past because many pharmaceutical companies have stopped making them because of the relatively small profits and the risk of potential liability following individual adverse reactions.The real money is in treating chronic diseases and conditions; they could make more money if they’d let people get the flu and treat the resulting chronic conditions and complications.
Bottom line, if you sort through all the posturing in this article, Doshi’s position is that the flu vaccine is not 100% effective and doesn’t work for everyone. That is totally correct. However, many studies have confirmed that it is generally very effective, safe, and it significantly reduces hospitalizations and severe illness in the most vulnerable populations, including children and the elderly.
Finally, I don’t know how anyone can argue that influenza is not a serious public health threat. Every year, more than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized, and 36,000 die from complications of the flu. Sounds pretty serious to me.
Check it out for yourself and do the kind of research that will allow you to make an educated, informed, reality-based decision.
Laney Kay, JD, MPH
(talking about liability, safety, and disease transmission is what I do!)