Flu shots don’t work… but your friends in the media want you to get one anyway.
A new study finds the scantest of all possible benefits from the most heavily hyped vaccine of all time — benefits so small you have to wonder if they even exist at all.
But just take a look at the headlines:
- MSNBC: Flu shot not as effective as thought (but get one anyway)
- Wall Street Journal: Flu shot could be better, but for now it’s the best we’ve got
- Time Magazine: It’s no guarantee, but you should get the flu shot anyway
Best we got? Get one anyway? Sheesh — you’d think these “news” organizations were earning a commission here.
In reality, the study offers some of the most sobering evidence yet of the shot’s utter ineffectiveness. Overall, the analysis of data from 31 studies published since 1967 finds that just 2.7 percent of unvaccinated people got the flu versus 1.2 percent of those who got the shot.
It’s an absolute difference of 1.5 percent — but a statistical difference of 59 percent.
Guess which number the media is using? You guessed it — 59 percent, and most of them rounded that up to 60 percent.
If you want to lower your risk, there’s a much easier way to do it without having to go through the time, trouble, cost and risks of a flu shot.
Last year, Japanese researchers found that schoolchildren given 1,200 mg a day of vitamin D3 had a 58 percent lower risk of flu than kids given a placebo. The children who got the D were also three times less likely to catch a cold — something a flu shot won’t help you with at all.
Other immune boosters such as vitamins A, C and E and fish oil could slash that risk even further — and all of them are nutrients your body needs anyway. Throw in good hygiene, and you can cut your flu risk down to almost nothing.
When you can get that kind of boost from simple vitamins and regular hand-washing, why would you even waste your time with a flu shot?