Influenza vaccines do not reduce hospitalisations or deaths of those who begin vaccinations at age 65 due to government promotions (Part 1, updated 2021-12-29)
So why should we accept anything vaccine proponents say on face value?
2022-02-22 update: Please see the second of two articles on this topic:
My opinion on health matters is of no consequence since I am an electronic technician and computer programmer. I will guide you through the research from which these graphs are drawn, so you can make your own decisions about what this means.
This research of Anderson et al. 2020 concerns only people in England and Wales between the ages of 60 and 70 - so it does not provide evidence beyond reasonable doubt that the same influenza vaccines do not significantly reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death for vaccinated individuals of different ages or in other locations. However, people in their 60s are (largely due to most having disastrously low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels far below 50ng/ml)) at high risk for serious influenza symptoms - and viral and vaccine mechanisms do not differ with age.
The Anderson et al. 2020 research found no observable reduction in risk of hospitalisation and death for the 30% of people who were not getting the flu vaccine at 64 and decided to do so when they were 65, and who presumably kept doing so in subsequent years, due to government encouragement.
It is possible that vaccination of other people reduces overall transmission rates and so benefits all people at risk of severe influenza symptoms by reducing the number of them who are infected.
It is possible that most or all of the 64 year olds who have co-morbidities - such as cardiovascular disease or obesity - which put them at high risk of severe influenza were already getting vaccinated every year, so the people who started when they were 65 did not have such risks.
Nonetheless, Anderson et al.’s observations and analysis are robust and free of many confounders which reduce the reliability of most other research approaches. This research contradicts the popular belief and and official position that influenza vaccination significantly reduces severe symptoms and so hospitalisation and death. In the 20 months since its publication, I found no article which criticises this article’s research methodology or analysis.
If the official position and popular understanding of influenza vaccines was based firmly in reality, this article would be very widely known. It would have been reported widely in the mainstream media and it would have been subject to multiple critiques or at least comments by virologists and others who support the influenza vaccination program. Instead, it has been largely ignored.
The global influenza vaccination program is widely accepted as necessary and beneficial. This widespread positive regard is a foundation for many people’s trust in what they are told by proponents of more controversial vaccination programs - particularly the mRNA and adenovirus vector COVID-19 immunity-raising treatments which are widely referred to as “vaccines”. (The Novavax protein sub-unit COVID-19 vaccine is a true vaccine. It does not program our cells to produce viral spike proteins for the purpose of training the immune system - which will then destroy those cells.)
If these beliefs in the benefits of flu vaccines are highly unrealistic - or substantial research which supports such an assessment is ignored - why should we trust that the proponents of newer more controversial and more hastily developed vaccination programs have a 100% reliable understanding of the impact of their new treatments on all people?
Anderson et al. 2020 show that influenza vaccination of 60 to 70 year olds in England and Wales has no discernible impact on hospitalisation or deaths
Anderson et al. 2020: The Effect of Inﬂuenza Vaccination for the Elderly on Hospitalization and Mortality - An Observational Study With a Regression Discontinuity Design, Annals of Internal Medicine, 2020-04-07 www.acpjournals.org/doi/abs/10.7326/M19-3075 (paywalled, but see Alexandra Elbakyan’s Sci-Hub sci-hub.se/10.7326/M19-3075) analysed huge datasets from England and Wales, covering 9.6 million patient years (vaccination rates by age), hospitalisation data and mortality statistics covering 7.6 million deaths.
The researchers state that observational techniques for determining the effectiveness of influenza vaccines typically report positive findings, but are subject to bias and confounding, such as selection bias, in which the cohort of individuals who are vaccinated have better outcomes regarding influenza in large part - or perhaps entirely for reasons other than being vaccinated. For instance, these people’s health outcomes may be better because they are generally healthier.
Anderson et al. devised a powerful analysis based on an particular circumstance: In England and Wales, government policies lead to a very sharp rise in the proportion of people who are receive influenza vaccines once they turn 65.
While this research tells us nothing about any reduction in mild symptoms which result from this increase in vaccination at age 65, we can tell, with our own eyes, in the two graphs above, that there is no discernible impact on hospitalisation or death, for any reason or in relation to influenza or conditions caused by influenza.
Most of the increase in vaccination rates occurs when people reach 65. The researchers calculate a 21.8% increase for men and 23.7% for women. The graphs shown here are vector graphics (Inkscape .svg files) derived from the PDF’s PostScript graphs in the PDF, so they are 100% anatomically correct. They show the average influenza vaccination rate of 64 year olds rises from 27% to 57% two years later.
This is more than a doubling of the number of vaccinated people in each age year cohort. If the vaccination of the 30% or so of this age cohort lead to any reduction of hospitalisation or death, we would see a dip in some or all of the four trend lines in the first two graphs, starting at age 65. Instead, we see perfect continuity (within 1 or perhaps 2 percent, which might not be visible) of a ten-year trend towards greater hospitalisation and death as these people age.
Anderson et al. do not provide a quantitative analysis of the lack of discontinuity if the first set of graphs. This would probably exceed the capacity of their software and of conventional statistical training. In Table 1, they provide estimates of vaccine efficiency, but their analysis is of no value since it is on the contrived basis of the average vaccination rate in some period (years) before 65 rising to a higher average in the years after, and how this correlates with increased hospitalisation and death with older age. They calculated a negative vaccination efficacy, but the lack of discernible change in the trend line indicates that on average, for the 30% of the age cohort who adopted vaccination, there were no benefits regarding hospitalisation or death.
Ideally the researchers would have quantified what we naturally do quite well with our eyes and mind. What dips, starting at age 65, do we see in the 8 trend lines in the first two graphs? None.
The researchers discuss various potential hypotheses which would account for their observations and analysis resulting from a world in which the vaccines really did lead to a significant reduction in hospitalisation and/or death. They found none which were credible.
This research is simple, elegant, and with these huge datasets over more than a decade, extremely powerful (that is, able to reliably detect even small effects). No such effect is found.
Influenza vaccines vary from year-to-year, but they don’t differ much, or at all, between countries - at least in Western nations. England and Wales is a perfectly good place to investigate influenza, which is highly seasonal at these high latitudes, so it is reasonable to assume these robust results represent the situation in all other countries. I know of no reason to believe that England and Wales, for years, received sub-standard influenza vaccines compared to those some or many other countries received. So I assume that these observations represent the reality in in all countries - or at least those in the West who use the same vaccines.
How could the vaccines have no impact on severe influenza in England and Wales if they do in other countries, where the people and the influenza strains are much the same? I can’t imagine how this could be the case. Maybe you can, but I will proceed on the basis that this substantial research, free of any known bias or confounding, establishes beyond reasonable doubt that influenza vaccination, at least in the most vulnerable age group (the researchers argue that people in their 60s are most likely to benefit from such vaccination, if it is effective) does not work.
This multi-billion dollar, relatively uncontroversial, aspect of the global vaccine industry persists, thrives, and is supported by most doctors and governments. This has been so for decades, despite influenza vaccines having no benefits apart from, perhaps, a reduction in symptoms which do not require hospitalisation - or perhaps by reducing total transmission in the population, which would be a significant benefit. The proponents this influenza vaccination have been encouraged by the illusion of effectiveness which arises from inaccurate research.
So why should we accept, on trust, without careful scrutiny, statements and assurances by doctors, governments, academics or manufacturers about the safety or efficacy of any vaccine?
There are good vaccines which save us all from terrible diseases. It is a mistake to think that anything called a “vaccine” is likely to be as valuable and safe as the best vaccines we know from decades of research and experience.
Many or most people believe, sometimes fervently, in the power of vaccines to save them, their families, their friends and their entire countries from harm and death.
Where have we seen this before?
Purification rituals [WP].
The COVID-19 vaccination program in Western Nations is extraordinarily reckless. I will write more about this in a future article.
There would be no need for flu vaccines, except perhaps for people with severe co-morbidities, if everyone had the 50ng/ml 125nmol/L 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels their immune systems need to work properly: