THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Expert doubts CDC promotion of influenza vaccine

Peter Doshi, a postdoctoral fellow at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, said on Thursday that while the CDC has said the influenza vaccine is the best option for the public, other data points otherwise.

The CDC promotes influenza vaccines in their public health campaigns, which touts influenza as a serious risk because of complications while the vaccine is risk free and saves lives. The result of the campaigning is 135 million doses of influenza vaccine entering the US market.

The CDC cites two studies that backup its health campaign, both published in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals and carried out by academic and government researchers with non-commercial funding. Both these studies found that there is a large reduction, of up to 48 percent, in the risk of death.

"If true, these statistics indicate that influenza vaccines can save more lives than any other single licensed medicine on the planet," Doshi said. "These studies are simply implausible and likely the product of the 'healthy-user effect'."

Doshi also said that the studies have no evidence that the influenza vaccine helps to reduce elderly deaths, and that the influenza vaccine is one more case of disease mongering, or ways for markets to expand for new products.