July 1, 2016
It’s bad enough that annual flu vaccines are often ineffective, but now we learn that the more popular, needle-free “FluMist” influenza vaccine has not provided protection for kids or adults for several years, and therefore should not be used in the coming flu season, say experts.
As reported by NBC News, the recommendation to forego the FluMist vaccine may also leave doctors short of vaccine altogether, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (not a bad thing, we believe).
“Nasal spray flu vaccine accounts for about one-third of all flu vaccines given to children,” CDC said in a statement.
Flu vaccines are already among some of the most ineffective of all vaccines, simply because it is impossible to make a flu vaccine that matches circulating strains of influenza for the season, because they can, and often do, change every year.
Only 3 percent effective
FluMist utilizes live, but weakened, flu strains to stimulate the body’s immune system. It is sprayed directly up the nose. In some seasons it had been reported that it was much more effective than the flu vaccine given via syringe.
Not so, apparently. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices examined data from the past couple of flu seasons and discovered that FluMist has not worked much at all. The CDC said that the spray was only about 3 percent effective during the most recent flu season.
“This 3 percent estimate means no protective benefit could be measured,” the CDC said, adding that the agency was not sure why the spray was not effective.
“In comparison, inactivated influenza vaccine (flu shots) had a vaccine effectiveness estimate of 63 percent against any flu virus among children 2 years through 17 years,” the CDC said – which is still not a great percentage.
As you might expect, the FluMist maker, MedImmune – owned by AstraZeneca – disputed the CDC’s findings.
“These findings demonstrate FluMist Quadrivalentwas 46-58 percent effective overall against the circulating influenza strains during the 2015-2016 season,” the company said in a statement.
Of course, if you want to keep selling a flu vaccine, then you would dispute any research that found it ineffective, wouldn’t you?
Despite the fact that these vaccines are not effective, however, the CDC – like a robot, or a parrot – is continuing to recommend that everyone get a flu shot each year anyway. The big lie being pushed is that even with an ineffective flu vaccine in their systems, vaccinated people are less likely to get the flu (says the agency), which makes the CDC sound like a propaganda mill rather than an institution disseminating unbiased scientific research.
‘It doesn’t work but we’re going to keep selling it’
“How well the flu vaccine works (or its ability to prevent flu illness) can range widely from season to season and can be affected by a number of factors, including characteristics of the person being vaccinated, the similarity between vaccine viruses and circulating viruses, and even which vaccine is used,” the CDC said.
“CDC will be working with manufacturers throughout the summer to ensure there is enough vaccine supply to meet the demand,” it added. “Vaccine manufacturers had projected that as many as 171 million to 176 million doses of flu vaccine, in all forms, would be available for the United States during the 2016-2017 season. The makers of (FluMist) had projected a supply of as many as 14 million doses of nasal spray flu vaccine, or about 8 percent of the total projected supply.”
And, with a view to generating more profits, AstraZeneca announced that it would continue to manufacture and distribute its ineffective FluMist spray in other countries whose populations are likely unaware of its ineffectiveness.
“AstraZeneca is working with the CDC to better understand its data to help ensure eligible patients continue to receive the vaccine in future seasons in the U.S.,” it said.