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Flu Vaccine Fails 99% in New Cochrane Review

For over 20 years, I have been writing and lecturing about how the flu vaccine fails nearly all who get it. I have written about the failure of the flu vaccine in past blog posts and in my newsletter, Dr. Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health.

Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers in more than 130 countries who strive to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of illness. They do not take Big Pharma money.  Therefore, their studies deserve attention when they are released.

On February 1, 2018, the Cochrane group released its latest findings on the flu vaccine. (1) The scientists studied randomized, controlled trials comparing the flu vaccine with placebo or no intervention. They included 52 clinical trials of over 80,000 people assessing the safety and effectiveness of flu vaccines in healthy adults. The studies were conducted between 1969 and 2009.

The authors found that flu vaccines probably reduced influenzas in healthy adults from 2.3% without vaccination to 0.9% with.
That means that the difference between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated is 1.4% or 0.014. Therefore, 71 people would need to be treated with the flu vaccine to prevent one case (1/1.4%). In other words, the flu vaccine did nothing for 70 out of 71 who received it. That means this study found the flu vaccine failed 99% (71/72).

There was more bad news for the flu vaccine in this study. The flu vaccine is touted as decreasing the risk of hospitalizations from the flu. I’m not sure how that happens since the vaccine has never been shown to be very effective against preventing the flu. In this study they found the risk of hospitalization in those that received the flu vaccine declined from 14.7% to 14.1%. That is a 0.6% decline. That means the flu vaccine fails over 99% (165/166) in preventing hospitalizations. Furthermore, the independent researchers found the flu vaccine “…may lead to little or no small reduction in days off work.” To make matter worse, the flu vaccine was shown to cause an increase in fever from 1.5% to 2.3%. Oy vey.

Why would anyone get a flu vaccine when it fails 99% who receive it?

Why would any physician prescribe a therapy, which is associated with serious adverse effects, that fails 99% who receive it?

Why are health care workers forced to receive a flu vaccine when it is consistently shown to fail nearly 99% who get them? And, there is not a single well-done study showing that vaccinating health care workers with the flu vaccine protects against the spread of flu.

Folks, the flu vaccine is a disaster. I can understand why President Trump does not get the flu shot. I cannot understand why anyone would allow themselves to be injected with a failed flu vaccine.
(1) Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. 2018. Feb. 1,2:CD001269

Author Info

David Brownstein, M.D.

Comments ( 45 )

  • Rose Kanoldt

    I was in the military 24 years and had a mandatory flu shot every year. Each time I received the flu vaccine I was ill the next day with severe chills and aches. It usually lasted about 24 to 36 hours I spoke to others in my unit and the small people like me (5ft 3″, 120 lbs) all had the same symptoms like mine. The bigger the person, the less they had any reaction. One fellow about 6’4″ and say 280 lbs had no reaction to the flu shot. I felt then that the one size fits all is not true. A larger person COULD require a larger amount of vaccine while smaller (less weight) persons could ?? maybe have a smaller dose. Haven’t seen this discussed but since I retired twenty years ago I have never had another flu shot. My illnesses are few but are usually related to flying. Traveling thru a busy aircraft, being on a huge cruise ship or even visiting a very big tourist attraction -like Carlsbad Caverns. Then I come home and become sick for a week. I do try to wash my hands frequently but you just can’t cover all bases sometimes.

  • Krista Harlan

    I really wish the numbers were laid out more clearly instead of being sensationalized. First, I’m against the flu vaccine as I worked for a company that manufactured 33% of the world’s supply and I learned an awful, truly awful, lot about it. However, this type is reporting is misleading as does nothing to explain why the vaccine is a bad idea.

    To say that 1.4% reduction translates to failure in 70 out of 71 people (or whatever the actual numbers were) is just bad science. It really means that for everyone in the study 2.3% of unvaccinated people got the flu. Only 0.9% of vaccinated people got the flu. So mathematically, there was a 61% reduction in contracting the flu. And since getting or not getting the flu is almost irrelevant to why the vaccine is a bad idea…WHY PRESENT THE DATA TO SOUND SO ALARMING AND MISLEADING????

    The dangers or risks from the vaccine or dependence on pharmaceuticals to support failing immune systems is the topic of importance. I don’t think articles like this are helpful in the slightest. It fuels those who are already against vaccines and makes those in support of them call these articles crap… which they are in my eyes.

    How about sharing the likelihood of any given years’ target strains being the right ones? How about factual, not alarmist, data about the stabilizers used in SOME forms. Maybe share the studies on the weakening of some people’s immune systems due to the vaccine. Or how about just pointing out that genuinely healthy people really can handle the flu and work on getting whole families to strengthen their immune systems. I am the beneficiary of excellent health due to nutrition, good habits, and strong mind/ body/ spirit connection. Despite working around people all day, having kids in school, and lately being pregnant, I jyst don’t get sick.

    Please choose your articles differently in the future and help educate us. Don’t try to scare us with this type of manipulated data. Fear is an excellent enemy of health.

    • Krista,
      If the Powers That Be recommend the flu vaccine for EVERYBODY, then my numbers are correct. If we knew who was going to get the flu then everybody would not need to be vaccinated. It may be alarmist, and it probably should be. That is what the research found.

  • William J. Strandwitz, PhD

    Wouldn’t be interesting to survey all those with the flu, including all those who have died, to see how many had the flu shot and how many were Vitamin D3 deficient.

  • Laara Dalen

    Unfortunately the study was based on 2009 vaccination products. So detractors will say the new vaccine for 2018 is improved since 2009. I have stopped sharing these reports because my relatives are pointing to my position (ie I am against injections of Hg materials), as indicators of early onset dementia!!! For those who must take these vaccinations- I was able to buy live vaccine to squirt into my nostrils (or anywhere near there), just to get the vaccination certificate. There appears to be no Hg in the live formulations.

  • Thank you, Dr. Brownstein. Your work here on this site shows well that people are encouraged to learn and take personal responsibility for their health. This new Cochrane review is further evidence that it is irresponsible to take the flu shot. The responsible thing for society at this point would be for people to learn the lesson that there is a pharmaceutical industry that will promote their vaccines regardless of adverse results. So we come to the famous quote, “One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.” How many more people need to be injured by these flu shots before the lesson becomes so extreme that people can’t help but learn?

  • Linda T

    “They included 52 clinical trials of over 80,000 people assessing the safety and effectiveness of flu vaccines in healthy adults. ”

    What about the safety & effectiveness of flu vaccines in UNhealthy adults?

  • Bill

    The vaccine establishment argues that we should all get the flu shot (and others), even if our chance of benefiting individually is small, to ensure “herd immunity.” In other words, we are being socially irresponsible schmucks if we don’t. You know: killing babies, the elderly, the infirm, etc. who can’t tolerate a bout of influenza. Dr. B., do you know if the herd immunity concept is backed by any real evidence?

    • Bill,
      The only herd immunity is natural immunity as vaccine-induced immunity wanes over time.

  • Dwight wells

    I need to know, of the Americans that have died from the flu, this year, how many had received the vaccine? This should always be included in these reports.

    • Dwight,
      You are spot-on. I would be happy to bet a small fortune that it would make national headlines if people who died from the flu were NOT vaccinated. Whenever i see an article about someone dying from the flu and they don’t mention vaccination status, I assume they were vaccinated. There was an article recently about 8 older people dying in Calif from the flu. Deep in the article, they mentioned that 7/8 were vaccinated. You can bet if 7/8 were not vaccinated, it would have been in the headline.

  • Dave Abrahamson

    The above mentioned NBC article is not the original but a derivative of a CDC report. The NBC article lacks adequate methodological and related information to assess the CDC report. Among the issues that ought to be discussed would be the overall cost effectiveness of vaccination against not doing so. Such a comparison would include health outcomes related to vaccination not related to influenza and outcomes from influenza when other treatments (not mentioned nor likely examined) are applied (e.g., responses to cytokine storm) among others.

  • Dolores

    I never took the flu shot I saw what it did yo my friends so thank you Dr Brownstein

  • Tom

    I interpret your data differently. If the risk of getting the flu goes from 2.3% without V to .9% with V, that says the vaccine cuts your risk by 61%!
    I am not a big fan of mainstream western medicine in general, but it seems your interpretations are misleading.
    Also just as a lay person, eyeballing the figure, I checked sites, please check yourself, and the estimates are 5-20% (not 2.3%) of people get the
    flu each year, so that data seems off. Please clarify if I am misinterpreting anything.
    Just as it’s important to question authority, it’s also important for anyone reading this to not accept anything controversial without
    questioning it as well.

    • Tom,
      You are using relative risk (RR) analysis. RR analysis is used to make a poorly performing therapy appear better than it actually is. For example, if 10,000 people in Group A were treated with Drug X for 3 years to prevent a heart attack and compared to 10,000 people in group B who took a placebo. 1 person in Group A suffered a heart attack compared to 2 persons in Group B. The relative risk is: 1/10,000 divided by 2/10,000 or 0.0001/0.0002=0.5. Using a RR analysis, the headlines would stated, “50% reduction in heart attacks with Drug X.”
      The more accurate absolute risk reduction (ARR) is: .0002-.0001=.0001 or 0.01%. The headlines should read: “0.01% Reduction in heart attacks with Drug X. Therefore, Drug X failed 9,999/10,000 since 9,999 received no benefit. That is a 99.99% failure rate.

  • Emily

    Both my friend and I have been following guidance, 5000 -10000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day every day along with 100 mcg K2 (MK-7). I also take 30 mg zinc. Both of us have been well for the last 3 years – no colds and no flu. I had to go to the emergency room in December with a friend who had emergency surgery, here is California where the flu has been horrible this year. There were many people with green bags who were very ill. That night and the next two nights I bumped the D3 and the K2 up to 30,000 IU per day and after those 3 days went back to my normal dosage. Along with Iodine, this has been incredible for me. My stepmother always gets her flu shot and this year within 2 weeks she was in the hospital with pneumonia. She doesn’t question her oncologist and is a firm believer in the flu shot. I had a physiology professor in college who agreed with Dr. Brownstein and I thank God for this firm, honest guidance in my life. Thank you!

  • Susan Dodson

    I am very concerned about the future and being forced to be vaccinated. This year I could not work as a volunteer during the flu season at my local health care center because of my stance. I am also a retired RN, and worry that I won’t be eligible to be hired, should I want to work.

  • Millicent Meeks

    As a health professional, I am wondering why with these stats , that we are forced to take flu shot. If it is true that Melania and Donald Trump and their White House staff are not taking the shot- why doesn’t he do an executive order for other government employees??

    • Millicent,
      I am also wondering why health care professionals are required to be vaccinated with a failed vaccine.

  • Karen

    If you check you will find that “(Trump’s) HIS ROUTINE vaccinations including his flu shot” which he was reportedly “up to date on” by the White House physician. Trump lies bigly. Please don’t sway the hopeful masses with his lies when the report released by the physician as it was carefully worded spells out clearly that he’s been lying to us. Still waiting for that RFK Jr. Safety commission position? Stop trusting politicians and don’t hold your breath. If it happens, it’ll be used to declare green vaccines safe and compel mandates. Government is as government does.

  • Karen

    Yet another failed flu vaccine in this house. My husband had the vaccine, got sick last week (5 days) and was very close to going to the hospital. I wish he wouldn’t take it, but his doctor insists and he obliges her wishes. This is the 2nd time he has gotten this sick with the flu, the last time was just after receiving the flu shot and he was hospitalized. This year he allowed me to give him foot reflexology (hours and hours) and I didn’t do everything for him so he had to take care of himself most of the time. He takes Vitamin C, exercises daily, (very extensively) and is very fit so I was surprised this didn’t protect him. That great reflexology training has paid for itself over and over.

  • Cpmty

    I get very sick when i get the flu shot… and doctors keep insisting I should get one every year. Is it anything else I can do to prevent getting the flu, beside state at home?

    • Kerry

      Please Cpmty

      I am puzzled. It you continue to “get very sick” when you get the flu shot, then why do you keep submitting to it. You must grow a backbone and REFUSE. Just say no to the “doctors” who keep INSISTING that you get it. It IS YOUR choice! There are toxic metals mercury in the form called “thimerosal” which is ethyl mercury. When injected, goes right to your brain. Also there are high levels of aluminum ( more in the “extra strength” one for seniors, that is used for the purpose of irritating your immune system so it will make antibodies to the weakened virus. Mercury and aluminum are very harmful to the body and central nervous system. Please read the other comments and do some research on how to make yourself resistant to the “flu”. Good whole foods diet with clean protein and good fat and vegetables of all kinds.. Limit sugar in all forms. Take extra vit C, vit D vit K2, magnesium, zinc high quality fish oil, multivitamin and multimineral supplement. Avoid JUNK processed food. make all your own food out of real whole foods. Limit eating out during winter months. This should be a good start and you won’t have to fear getting sick. Only YOU can control what you put into your body…..

  • Eric

    I have over the years come to the conclusion that we as a society have been asking the wrong questions. Whether the flu vaccine is effective against the flu is not as important as whether it improves health overall. For example, if we were to know that giving a child a flu vaccination would reduce the risk of the child getting the flu that year by 0.5% while at the same time increasing the risk of the child getting lifelong asthma by 15% we would hopefully realize that overall, the vaccination would be harmful. But we don’t know because we don’t have the research results to say one way or the other. If we do not have research results from comparing the overall health outcomes between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations for a given vaccine or schedule of vaccines, then we simply have no scientific basis for claiming that the vaccine or schedule of vaccines provides an overall health benefit. Where is there properly done research that has shown any vaccine or group of vaccines to provide an overall health benefit? I am not aware of any such research.

    • Eric,
      YOU GO! Yes, where is the vaccinated v. unvaccinated studies from the CDC? President Trump should fire them all an start over.

  • Elijah Varga

    This is mind boggling figure when you break down to the statistical level. All the hupla-ha, money waste, don’t even mention the damage to the recipients health, let alone death . But god forbid to take as simple remedy as vit D3 and C. Caution us the Establishment.Really getting hard to comprehend in one’s mind all this.How could we sink this low?

  • Bonnie Camo MD

    I saw on youtube that Melania Trump ordered that none of the White House staff should get the flu shot, because they could shed virus and endanger her son Barron. She said she studied the situation for a long time before making that recommendation. Smart lady!

  • Donna

    Not once by taking the flu shot kept me from getting the flu. After learning the truth about it many years ago I decided not to get it anymore. Whenever I see symptoms I take a homeopathic Oscillococcinum which has always helped. Also, it helps to build the body up with pro-biotics and anti-fungals during the flu season. Please continue to keep educating truth.

  • John Staunton

    So if the non vaccinated group have a 2.3% flu rate and the vaccinated group have a 0.9% flu rate is that not 60% relative reduction? It sounds like the 99% failure rate doesn’t make sense or can u explain it?

    • Denise,
      The flu vaccine is a failed vaccine that roughly prevents influenza in 1% who receive it. It has never been shown to prevent deaths in children or the elderly–the people the most at risk.

    • Jim

      1. Here is a link to the publication on which this news article is based –

      2. The Cochrane Review titled “Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children” and published 1 February 2018 states “Compared with placebo or no vaccination, inactivated vaccines reduce the risk of influenza from 30% to 11% (high-certainty evidence)….Five children would need to be vaccinated for one child to avoid influenza…” –

    • Deanne

      I just read the article you gave the link for. It would be a good one for someone with more knowledge and understanding of the whole picture to pick apart. I don’t listen to the news or read current news hardly ever, but when I do, I am suspicious and take it all with more than a grain of salt.

      Some of my questions would be… Which 291 children did they study? Were those cherry-picked? I don’t trust the news media or the pharmaceutical companies. I know they have an agenda, which does not put a high value on our safety and health.

      I hope you get some answers to pass on to your friend. Articles like this scare people into compliance. Without any other information (which most people don’t have and aren’t aware of), you would be crazy not to protect your children from this danger by vaccinating.

      In the end, even if you do lots of reading and investigating (both sides can “prove” their view), it comes down to who you believe. A book I read over 20 years ago (the first one I read on this topic) was called What Every Parent Should Know About Childhood Immunizations.

      Maybe the way to help your friend is to raise questions about the motives of news outlets or see if she would read something from another perspective instead of trying to debunk specific articles. There are too many, with more being written all the time. There are lots more good books, and videos (if reading is too much trouble) out on this topic now than there were 20 years ago. I have read others since my first one, but I don’t remember the titles. Sherry Tenpenny is a good resource. I hope you have success.

    • Eric

      Tell your friend that those researchers asked the wrong question. Whether the flu shot reduces the risk of a child dying of the flu is not as important as whether the flu shot reduces the risk of a child dying. For example, if we were to know that the flu shot caused four additional non-influenza-associated deaths from other diseases such as pneumonia for every three flu deaths that are prevented, we would hopefully realize that the flu shot, if anything, is increasing mortality, and not decreasing it. But we don’t know that one way or the other from this research paper because the researchers didn’t look at that. Therefore, this research study does not provide any kind of a scientific basis for claiming that the flu shot saves lives. The researchers should have looked at overall health outcomes (including mortality) when comparing vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations.
      Also, tell your friend about this research paper: “Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there a biochemical or synergistic toxicity?” Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman
      These researchers concluded that “…nations that require more vaccine doses tend to have higher infant mortality rates…”

    • Mindy

      Always look at the wording. For example:

      “(the kids who died) had not been vaccinated in the months before they got sick.” This does not mean they were not vaccinated; it just means they were not vaccinated within the month prior to their illness/death. So now, if you get a vaccine in October and get the flu in February, you can be considered unvaccinated.

      “Vaccination status was determined for 291 deaths; 75 (26 percent) received vaccine before illness onset” They got the vaccine, got ill, and died. Sounds like those kids died from the vaccine.

      “fully half the kids who died were considered healthy before they became infected” and “Because of the higher risk of severe complications and influenza-associated death among children with underlying conditions, vaccination is especially important for these children” seem very contradictory to me. How is 50% of healthy kids dying lower risk than the ‘unhealthy’ kids?

      If you really break down the wording in a lot of these articles, you will be shocked at how misleading they are.

  • Nancy,
    I find vitamin C as well as high doses of vitamin D and A for a few days can help with acute viral illnesses. ALso, I find IV vitamin C a wonderful therapy for acute illnesses.

    • Jen Delves

      Dr. B, do recommend that when you supplement with vitamin D3 that you also take vitamin K2 with it?
      Thanks! Jen

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