by Heidi Stevenson
A new study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and performed by researchers who receive research funding from the pharmaceutical corporation MedImmune, came up with results in an influenza vaccination study that can only be called confounding. Their results seem to demonstrate that there is little or no correlation between flu vaccination status and confirmed influenza rates. Nonetheless, they conclude:
[A]bsence due to fever or cough illness may be a useful surrogate endpoint in school-based studies if identification of laboratory confirmed influenza is not feasible.
If that makes your mouth drop open and your head wobble back and forth, welcome to the real world! These scientists, whom we generally expect to use good logic, are stating that it’s okay to use fevers and coughs to determine whether flu vaccines are beneficial—though they found nothing to support the use of fevers or coughs as indications of influenza infection!
Some studies appear to demonstrate that high flu vaccination rates result in lower absenteeism in schools. However, they have never shown that the lowered rate of absenteeism is actually the result of fewer influenza infections. Whether absenteeism is a result of an illness similar to influenza or the real thing is rarely investigated. No study has, thus far, demonstrated that flu vaccines result in lower rates of absence as a result of influenza infections. A new study published in PLoS is no different, though they set out to produce:
… an observational pilot study to assess the feasibility of identifying absences due to laboratory-confirmed influenza in vaccinated and unvaccinated students, and to compare absenteeism due to fever or cough illness in schools with and without the school-based vaccination initiative.
So, these scientists set out to compare absenteeism between vaccinated and unvaccinated elementary school students, and apparently they figured they might as well also investigate whether testing for flu infections correlates to absenteeism or vaccination rates. They ended up with a big Oops! The results seemed to make little sense. But did that bother them? Apparently not.
It looks like they had a predetermined conclusion, and come hell or high water, they stuck with it. That’s not too surprising, since the study was wholly funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the two researchers who designed and controlled the study receive research funding from the influenza vaccine-producing pharmaceutical firm, MedImmune.
Titled Elementary School-Based Influenza Vaccination: Evaluating Impact on Respiratory Illness Absenteeism and Laboratory-Confirmed Influenza, the researchers examined the results of a Michigan school district’s influenza vaccine policies, which varied from school to school because of limited funding. They focused on the four elementary schools (through grade 6, about age 11/12 years). Two of them pushed a school-based flu vaccine delivery program, while the other two used a program that expects parents to obtain vaccinations.
Oddly enough, they did not use the term “exposed” for exposure to an infectious agent. They used the term “exposed” to refer to children who were enrolled in the two schools that had a school-based flu vaccination program. So, children who were enrolled in the two schools that relied on parents to arrange for vaccinations were termed “non-exposed”.
There were 982 students in the “exposed” group and 658 in the “non-exposed” group.
Is this getting confusing? Perhaps that’s why they chose to use the terms exposed and non-exposed as names for the vaccination programs. So, to make it clearer:
- Exposed: Children who went to a school that vaccinated on-site will be referred to as the On-site vaccination group.
- Non-exposed: Children who went to a school that relied on parents to obtain vaccinations will be referred to as the Off-site vaccination group.
All tables reproduced here have changed “Exposed schools” to read “On-site vaccination”, and ”Non-exposed schools” to read “Off-site vaccination”. I hope this helps clarify the data presented.
Usually, different schools serve different communities. The financial status, general health, race, and many other characteristics vary from school to school. These characteristics can easily affect the outcome of a study. There’s a term used for such things in research: confounders. Yet, the authors make no reference of any sort to any potentially confounding traits!
Incomplete Definitions of Terminology
A child was defined as vaccinated if 14 days had elapsed since receipt of the vaccination. Children under the age of 9 were defined as fully vaccinated if two or more doses had been received at any time. Children under age 9 who’d received only one flu vaccine were defined as partially vaccinated. In the exposed group, 52% were fully vaccinated; 28% were fully vaccinated in the non-exposed group. No information was given about how the vaccination status of children over age 9 was defined.
The study ran 12 weeks. The acronym FERPA refers to the Family Educational Rights and Protection Act and its requirements to properly inform trial subjects. The researchers say they adhered to FERPA regulations, and all indications appear to be that they did.
Here is their table showing the percentages of vaccinated children in the on-site and off-site groups:
In the schools where vaccination took place on-site, 52.2% of the children were “fully vaccinated”. In schools where parents were responsible for obtaining their children’s vaccines, 27.6% were “fully vaccinated”. Since we know nothing of the relative demographics between these two groups of children, no definitive conclusion can be drawn. However, it does demonstrate why there’s a strong move toward vaccinating children at schools, rather than leaving it up to the parents—and that clearly implies that parents are not considered reliable in determining what’s best for their children.
This table shows the absentee rates, comparing on-site and off-site vaccination systems:
The rate of absenteeism because of fever or cough was 26.5% in children who attended schools with on-site vaccination and 38.9% in children who attended schools with off-site vaccination. Children who attended schools with an on-site vaccination policy were less likely to be absent (26.5% vs 38.9%), and they were also less likely to be absent for any other reason (42.7% vs 46.6%).
What accounts for this distinction? The fact is that we have absolutely no idea. Any suggestion that it has anything whatsoever to do with the flu vaccine, though, is shown to be utter nonsense in the next table.
This table depicts the absentee rates of children whose parents agreed to have them tested for influenza:
Among children whose parents agreed to laboratory testing to see if their fever and cough illnesses were actually flu, the results were quite different compared to untested illnesses. The rate of absenteeism because of fever or cough was 64.1% in children who attended schools with on-site vaccinations and 38.0% in children who attended schools with off-site vaccinations. These results are dramatically different from those displayed in the previous table! Significantly, they imply that it’s in the best interests of children to avoid flu vaccinations—the exact opposite of the results for children whose parents did not agree to get lab verification of their illnesses.
How can that be explained? Clearly, it cannot.
Actual Cases of Flu
Because of “resource constraints”, students with cough or fever illnesses were tested for influenza for only a 4-week period of time, further confounding the results.
The story is even more dramatic than the results displayed in Table 3! The authors did not produce a table to show how many of the children whose fever-cough illness was laboratory verified to be flu, and the reason will be quite obvious.
Only 9% of the children tested for influenza actually had the disease!
That means that 91% of the children who stayed at home for coughs or fevers did not have influenza. The fact is that, during flu season, the CDC reports flu-like illnesses as if they were actually flu. The reality is entirely different. The CDC’s campaign to push vaccinations is based on irrelevant data.
The results of this study are so confounded that it’s ludicrous to take any part of it seriously. If anything, the study demonstrated that the government’s use of statistics must be designed to mislead. The one factor that seems to make any sense at all in this study—that fewer than one-tenth of the cases of flu-like illness are actually influenza—demonstrates clearly that the CDC is knowingly whipping up unwarranted fear about the number of flu cases based on numbers that are grossly inflated.
It’s difficult to believe that these researchers would have held back if a single student had come to harm as a result of influenza, thus demonstrating yet another reality about the fear mongering whipped up every year in attempts to scare people into getting vaccinated.
The authors of this study claimed that:
[A]bsence due to fever or cough illness may be an effective surrogate endpoint in school-based studies if identification of laboratory confirmed influenza is not feasible.
Could there be any doubt that this was the result they were determined to reach? Their data clearly do not support the statement. Yet, because few doctors actually read studies and the news media generally reports only what is in the conclusions or press releases, this bit of nonsense will be reported again and again and again, until it takes on a veneer of legitimacy by simple repetition.
The Big Pharma Profiteers and their promoters, the Profiteers’ wholly-owned governmental agencies, foundations raking in whatever they can manage from the money being flung around, and pseudo scientists producing whatever results are desired for a price—none of them are interested in the truth. The truth doesn’t serve the Profit God. This piece of junk science funded by the taxpayer via the CDC promotes the pharmaceutical corporations’ cash cow, vaccines. It has nothing to do with the health of our children.
- Elementary School-Based Influenza Vaccination: Evaluating Impact on Respiratory Illness Absenteeism and Laboratory-Confirmed Influenza; PLoS; Sonia A Kjos, Stephanie A. Irving, Jennifer K. Meece, and Edward A. Belongia; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072243.