As a physician, I receive emails from Medscape. Medscape provides information and research articles for physicians. These emails contain news about drugs, medical procedures, and vaccinations. On January 3, 2014 I received an email titled, “High Dose Flu Vaccine: The Evidence Is In.” This interested me as I have done extensive research on the flu vaccine and know that it is ineffective at preventing the flu, especially in the elderly.
When I clicked the link, I was directed to a video by a well-known physician. I listened to the two-minute video and was shocked at what the doctor said. She stated, “In December, 2009, high-dose sesasonal flu vaccine for seniors aged 65 years or older (Fluzone®) was granted acceleratd approval by the U.S. FDA.” Fluzone® is four times as strong as the standard dosed flu vaccine.
Describing the results of the study, the doctor said, “The results: case closed. The high-dose shot was more effective in seniors. It was 24% better at preventing the flu than the standard flu shot.”
Case closed? Be still my beating heart. I have written about the problems with the flu vaccines in previous blog posts as well as my newsletter, Dr. Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health. There have been no good studies showing that the flu vaccine is effective for seniors.
Case closed? I decided to look at the study in more detail. Here are the results.
The trial encompassed 32,000 adults aged 65 years or older in the U.S. and Canada. It was performed during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 flu seasons. Subjects were randomized to receive either the regular flu vaccine (Fluzone®) or the higher dosed flu vaccine (Fluzone High-Dose®). The rate of laboratory-confirmed influenza among subjects receiving the high dose vaccine was 1.43% compared to 1.89% for those receiving the regular flu vaccine.