Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Marketing Fear: The Flu Vaccine

Apparently, more people are catching on to the CDC's ruse to scare people into getting vaccinated for the flu, regarding the intermingling of statistics from flu- and pneumonia-related deaths (free text link below).The CDC would have you believe some 36,000 Americans die annually from the flu, although, before a pivotal 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, yearly estimates were in the 20,000 range.

A review of health records from the CDC's own National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), however, shows the true average annual mortality rate between 1979-2002 was less than 1,400. What's more, flu deaths decreased by an average 30 percent during the 90s over the 80s.So, why the huge discrepancy? Because the CDC claims NCHS figures represent a "a very substantial undercounting," they use "indirect modeling methods" to arrive at their yearly estimate of flu-associated deaths, a huge difference from the number of fatalities directly caused by the flu.

Makes you wonder if the CDC will be begging Americans once again to get a flu shot, considering Congress is deliberating the Flu Protection Act which would require the agency to pay for any unsold vaccines.Remember, the best treatment for the flu is proactive prevention, not a pill or vaccine.
British Medical Journal, Vol. 331, No. 7529, December 10, 2005: 1412 Full Free Text Article
USA Today December 12, 2005

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