Doctors and public health authorities are still pushing flu shots, fearing a “twindemic,” but should you pause for thought?
Some quip that COVID-19 is a great killer, having wiped a out deaths from influenza, heart disease, and cancer. Deaths that are somehow “associated with” COVID, as with a positive PCR test within a certain time period, are attributed to COVID without definitive proof. They might, however, result from COVID-caused blood clots.
Death rates from influenza have declined to close to zero, as the graphic below shows—the “flu season that wasn’t.” Does coronavirus “shut the flu out”?
Might the flu shot provide some cross-protection from COVID, while you are awaiting your COVID shot? It may provide some protection against some other diseases. But one study found a 65 percent increased risk of non-flu acute respiratory illness within 14 days of receiving the flu vaccine, due to rhinovirus, enterovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and coronaviruses. A randomized placebo-controlled trial in children showed that flu shots increased fivefold the risk of acute respiratory infections caused by a group of noninfluenza viruses, including coronaviruses.
In a study of Department of Defense personnel, influenza vaccination had a protective effect against some respiratory viruses—but a 36 percent increased risk of coronavirus.
While correlation does not prove causality, it can provide clues. In Europe, the rate of COVID-19 deaths per million increased with influenza vaccination rates, as the second figure shows. In nursing homes, where nearly half the COVID-19 deaths have occurred, influenza vaccination is likely to be nearly universal, making a comparison between vaccinated and nonvaccinated persons impossible.
Is vaccination your only shield against influenza (except possibly for early Tamiflu)? There is evidence that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) might help patients with severe influenza, but appropriate research has not been done—perhaps because of $69 billion in annual vaccine profits.
Influenza vaccine may help, or it may hurt your chances, but there is plenty of evidence that early treatment of COVID does help, and the worldwide death toll from denying early treatment has passed 1.2 million according to some scientists’ estimate.
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