Americans have never been big fans of flu shots. During the 2009 “swine flu” influenza A pandemic, only about 40 percent of adults bothered to roll up their sleeves. 1 Last year, flu vaccine rates were still just 47 percent for adults but pediatricians had vaccinated 75 percent of children under two years old. 2
Perhaps it is because parents are being thrown out of pediatricians’ offices if they don’t give their children every federally recommended vaccine – or maybe it is just because adults can talk about how they felt after getting vaccinated and infants and children under age two cannot.
How many times has someone told you: “The year I got a flu shot is the only year I got sick” or maybe you learned that the hard way yourself after getting vaccinated.
Doctors insist that just because we get sick with a fever, headache, body aches and a terrible cough that hangs on for weeks after getting vaccinated, it doesn’t mean the vaccine made us sick. They say it was just a “coincidence” because correlation does not equal causation. 3 4
Well, that may be true some of the time, but now the CDC is admitting that flu shots don’t prevent influenza most of the time. 5 In fact, studies show that a history of seasonal flu shots can even make people more susceptible to getting sick with a fever, headache, body aches and a terrible cough that hangs on for weeks! 6 But just like with pertussis infections, a lot of people also get and transmit influenza infections without showing any symptoms at all. 7 8 9
Previous Flu Shots Raised Risks for Pandemic Flu
During the 2009 swine flu pandemic, scientists in the Netherlands asked a big question: Do annual flu shots preventing natural influenza A infections in infants and young people increase their risk of illness and death when a highly pathogenic pandemic influenza strain develops and circulates? 10 The answer to that big question was “Yes” when, in 2010, Canadian health officials confirmed that school aged children and healthy young adults, who had gotten a flu shot the previous season, were at twice the risk of coming down with pandemic A swine flu in 2009 that was severe enough to require a trip to the doctor’s office. 11
Then, between 2011 and 2014, researchers in Europe published a number of studies providing evidence that immune responses to natural influenza infections and vaccinations are quite different, and very much affect the quality and length of immunity. 12
Most People Don’t Show Flu Symptoms, Vaccinated People More Likely to Get Sick