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Against the Grain with Dr. Chad Edwards | Tulsa Sports Injury| Podcast 6 – Part 6
Chad: Right. You have insight into that that obviously I don’t have. That’s amazing input and I think that’s really good. From my perspective, this was just something that was recommended and it’s kind of like that traditional Baptist kind of thing, “Well, we always sit in the same pew. We do it this way because we’ve always done it.” There’s no good evidence to do that.
Bryan: No, and I have to say this show, we’ve got a stinger for this. Ready? Let’s go into this topic.
Announcer: Against the Grain.
Bryan: As if we haven’t been going against the grain already, it is true, I think one of your passions, Chad, is I think throughout history we see this and especially in the health care industry we see this herd type of mentality where big profit is made from people just believing in what someone says. Not necessarily being good for those group of people, but we can go all the way back to the Reformation. I think religion and politics and health care are three big ones that people, if you look back generation after generation, people are being misled. I think your passion is to bring truth to some of these topics.
Chad: Absolutely. I’m going to rapid-fire a couple of things here because I want to get some data out. I want to get some studies out, but I want to do it quickly and I don’t want to bore people with this stuff. I’m going to read, this is a paper from Medscape. Now Medscape is an internet site that is mainstream medical stuff, so this is mainstream medical and I’m going to read a little bit of this thing. They say, “If the reason for flu vaccination is that the flu is such a serious disease, then relevant outcomes are whether vaccination improves morbidity and mortality from the flu. However, after decades of vaccine use, it is hard to detect any public health impact. This is in stark contrast to other routine vaccinations such as polio and Hib,” that we mentioned earlier, “where introduction to the vaccine led to obvious decline of the disease.” They go on to say, “We are pediatricians and we believe in childhood immunizations. Many of vaccines have provided immense public-health value. We simply question whether the policy of routine influenza vaccination has outpaced the data supporting its use.”
Chad: That is mainstream medical stuff. That’s from one of the things. Now let me read a couple other things.
Bryan: We still think you should get it.
Bryan: Get it, get it, get it, get it.
Chad: All right, so let me read a couple other things here. From the archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in October 2008, and these are going to be summarized. I’ve got this on my website. It will be in the show notes. “Giving the flu shot to young children had no impact on doctors’ office visits, nor hospitalizations related to the flu during two flu seasons. The researchers stated “significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting.””
From the Lancet, major medical publication, August 2008, “Flu vaccination did not decrease risk of developing pneumonia in older people.” From the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in September 2008, “The 51% reduction in mortality with vaccination initially observed in patients with pneumonia who did not have influenza was most likely a result of confounding. Previous observational studies may have overestimated mortality benefits of influenza vaccination.” From the Lancet Infectious Diseases, October 2007, “We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality, have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits.”
Then we get into the Cochrane Collaboration. They started in 2006. There’s another one in 2010. I’ll just read this one. This was from 2010. “No effect was shown for specific outcomes, such as laboratory-proven influenza, pneumonia, and death from pneumonia.” Then we’ve got from 2010, this is looking at vaccination versus un-vaccinated people and what’s the risk of getting flu, “4% of un-vaccinated versus 1% of vaccinated persons developed flu-like symptoms,” notice it’s flu-like symptoms, not influenza, “in the relatively uncommon circumstances of vaccine matching the viral circulating strain.”
In other words, we know that there’s different types of flu, right? There’s H1N1, there’s H5N2, all these different ones. The World Health Organization has these collaboration centers where they’re getting people that get the flu, they’ve got these sites and these labs that will get strains and they will take that data and send it to these collaboration centers, which feeds that up to the World Health Organization. That’s how they say on an annual basis, they say, “These are the trends that we’re seeing. This is what we think is going to be the influenza strain most likely to cause the most problem.” There’s a Northern Hemisphere and a Southern Hemisphere version of the flu shot, and that’s somewhat new. That’s how they get the strains and then they release that to manufacturers for the flu vaccination.
You’ve got the potential, in fact the high potential, that there’s a mismatch. In other words, you think you’re getting flu version one, and this is actually flu version two that’s out floating around. We don’t know that, but we still say, “Oh, but you should still get your flu shot,” and it may not be a match. In this case, they’re saying, this is a quote, “In the relatively-uncommon circumstance of vaccine matching,” it’s uncommon that we get it right is what they just said, “matching the viral circulating strain and high circulation, however under normal circumstances, the numbers were 2% of un-vaccinated and 1% of vaccinated people that get the flu.” When we talk about relative risk reduction, if under normal circumstances there’s a 50% reduction in flu, because it was 2% versus 1%, so a 50% reduction. In absolute risk, it’s 1% difference.
Bryan: I think this is definitely a hot topic for people and I think we can go on and on, but our time is finished for this particular podcast. I think we’re going to do some possibly more shows on it, Chad, the difference between the mist and the shot, and some more extensive discussion around the flu and vaccines in general. I think it will be interesting information for people.
This is one of these shows I’m not even sure how to tell people what are the action steps that they take from here. Do they get the flu vaccine or do they not? Because I think there’s some more questions that they probably have. I would highly recommend, if they don’t have a doctor that will sit down and talk to them about it, specifically with kids, if they have kids and some of these new mothers out there that are making these big decisions on whether to vaccinate their kids with the flu or albeit other vaccinations, probably would do well to come sit and talk to you at your clinic, Revolution Health and Wellness Clinic.
Chad: Absolutely. Let me do one more thing and then I’ll tidy it up. The most recent review of the data was the Cochrane Collaboration from 2012. In this review, they showed the efficacy of the vaccine, but discussed the differences between efficacy and effectiveness. They did note significant side effects. As stated, “Influenza vaccines were associated with serious harms such as narcolepsy and febrile convulsions,” and those were in kids. “This review includes trials funded by the industry.” They discuss much of that. “The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin, but there is evidence of wide-spread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding.”
In other words, your action steps are you can go out and find data to say you should absolutely get your flu shot. That stuff’s out there. I read a paper the other day that said that getting the flu shot caused a 60% reduction in your chances of getting the flu. Zero references cited on that. None. Did they just make that up?
Bryan: Maybe an observational piece, yeah.
Chad: I think the action steps are ask questions. Where did this come from? Unfortunately, your average primary care doc doesn’t know.
Bryan: That’s the whole point of the show is your passion is for people to take back their own health care. Until they do that, they’re never going to be in a position to make good decisions.
Chad: That’s right. I’m not saying you should or should not get your flu shot. I can’t substitute, as an over-the-radio broadcast, as a medical recommendation. That’s between you and your doctor. My goal is you need to ask some questions. The data behind this is not what we’ve been told.
Bryan: I think, again, it goes back to the whole point of the show in is that don’t be intimidated by a doctor. Don’t be intimidated by their title. If something doesn’t make sense, ask a question, study it, and understand it. Take back your health, right?
Bryan: All right, my man. It is a passionate subject. Chad’s sweating over there. I can see it. Marshall, are you still with us?
Marshall: I’m with you guys.
Bryan: Do you want to take it out?
Marshall: I’ll take us out.
Bryan: You’ve got some cool music?
Marshall: Here we go.
Bryan: Thank you guys.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to this week’s podcast with Dr. Chad Edwards. Tune in next week where we’ll be going Against the Grain.