Take two. They’re small.
The Centers for Disease Control is a government agency. A progressive institution, it is premised on the belief that a large centralized agency staffed by experts will act in the public good. Unfortunately, year after year it distorts science to encourage the public to waste money on flu vaccines that do not do what they are said to do. The media never questions these inaccuracies, and the pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals are also willing accomplices in the statistical shell game.
It starts by hyping a death in a faraway country, usually China, that is used to predict a very dangerous flu strain that is about to leap across the animal /human barrier and cause a deadly “pandemic.” You see, for the CDC, every year is 1918, when the horrific conditions in World War I gave birth to a real pandemic that devastated the troops and then America as well. Only, these new pandemics never actually happen.
Next comes the inflation of the death totals due to flu. The CDC says annually up to 50,000 Americans die from the flu. One has to read the actual sources of these statistics to discover that nearly all these deaths are from pneumonia, not the flu. The real death totals due to the flu are reduced down to the hundreds, mostly seniors and infants. The flu shot does nothing about pneumonia. In fact, peer reviewed studies show flu vaccination does nothing to protect seniors and infants!
CDC never discusses how the flu shot is designed every year. There can be only three flu strains in any national flu shot, and they are chosen by guesswork and by what strain may have been active last year. There is no telling if the flu strains chosen for the vaccine are the same as the flu strains that will be present this year. There are at least 200 viruses that can cause influenza-like illness.
The CDC disinformation campaign gets worse. They use one of the oldest statistical tricks: presenting the percentage of effectiveness instead of the absolute effectiveness of the vaccine.
Here is how it works. Suppose they set up a study of two groups of 100 people in each group. One group gets the vaccine, and one does not. Now six people in the group that did not get the vaccine come down with the flu, while two people in the vaccinated group do. If you look at it as relative risk, then the flu vaccine was 60 percent effective, which is what the CDC trumpets. If you look at actual risk, however, you would say there is a 4 percent chance of getting the flu (8/200) and that risk is reduced to a 3 percent chance, (6/200), or a reduction of 1 percent!
Now, which statistic is more likely to produce a turnout for the vaccine? Relative risk statistics tell us nothing about actual risk. There is a one-in-a-million chance of a serious reaction to a flu shot. Would you accept that for 1 percent reduction of risk?
I am not anti-vaccine. Rather, I am against politicized science and medicine. Many trust a large centralized bureaucracy to be more reliable and truthful than competing private for-profit enterprises. I would suggest that competition dependent on free choice is more likely to provide truthful and efficient solutions than a public bureaucracy that is nominally non profit but actually works to further its own interests without the constraints of competition and free consumer choice.