the flu vaccine

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    If I were you I’d look at the research first-hand. Are you familiar with pubmed? I vastly prefer going over the studies myself rather than reading a book where someone has cherry-picked their favorites then rambled on and on to prove a point. No, I’m not much of a reader outside of textbooks and journal articles. 🙂

    If you haven’t used it before, try You can filter for review articles and also for free full-text articles. It is a great way to find peer-reviewed papers from multiple sources.


    [quote=EarthSky]It was also very startling that he shared so much about the corruption historically seen in the industry (pressure to release a vax when scientists didn’t feel sufficient safety studies had been run, etc.) and then gave no indication that there are any new regulations or protocols established to protect against that happening now or in the future. [/quote]

    “Corruption” is hardly the word I’d use for what I’ve observed with my own eyes. I think the word “criminal” is a better choice.

    As for pubmed, it’s a GREAT resource and I use it everyday in my current position andhave used it since about 1988. But the huge assumption people make regarding the legitimacy of the articles there, is that the “peer reviewed” data you’re reading hasn’t been “enhanced” to prove or disprove a particular hypothesis.

    Where there’s big money to be made and or prestige to be had, corruption isn’t far away.


    I was fortunate to work for very ethical researchers.

    I certainly don’t assume that nothing has been “enhanced.” I know from my studies that many things are published with questionable methods, questionable results, and illogical conclusions. Sadly, you wouldn’t know it unless you were in the particular field and knew why other methods were typically used. There were also people doing almost identical research to mine and getting opposite results. It happens. Corruption is out there, as are subconscious biases, but there is also honest research going on, and honest variation. To that extent, I agree that wrong information can be found. I still think peer-reviewed journals are an improvement over most sources.

    Aside from getting a PhD in the area of interest, this is the best way I can think of to look into a scientific topic. It certainly beats reading books full of opinions.


    [quote=Melbelle]I was fortunate to work for very ethical researchers………….I certainly don’t assume that nothing has been “enhanced.” ……………..To that extent, I agree that wrong information can be found. I still think peer-reviewed journals are an improvement over most sources……….Aside from getting a PhD in the area of interest, this is the best way I can think of to look into a scientific topic. It certainly beats reading books full of opinions. [/quote]
    So was I when I worked in Academia, EXTREMELY fortunate and in my current position, STILL fortunate ethical research is being conducted. But IMHO big Pharma is profit first, science second based on my work for 3 different companies. Does this mean nothing credible is being conducted at pharmaceutical companies? Of course not, but it’s in my nature NOT to trust people so strongly motivated by money, as is so glaringing the case for people I kno/kneww who work in Big Pharma.

    Yaz is being recalled? Avandia was recalled? Hormone replacement therapy is NOT for EVERY post menopausal woman (DUH!!), I obviously haven’t done research in all these areas and certainly don’t need a PhD to understand a few things. I live by ONE standard with VERY few exceptions when it comes to drugs and drug products, if a drug hasn’t been around for at least 10 years, I ain’t interested in taking it. And some of that would be me speaking from the “I studied Pharmacology in grad school” perspective. 😉

    I question EVERYTHING, because in my mind that’s what ALL real Scientists do. And my military background says “trust, but verify” is truly the way to go when it comes to research!


    I definitely agree that everything should be questioned. I wasn’t saying you needed more degrees. 😉 EarthSky seemed frustrated by the book, and my comment was for her sake – that the solution for her may not be to fully understand it all, but to compile more current research. Slanted as it may be, she should be able draw some reasonable conclusions from it. Better than a more-slanted book anyway. I actually haven’t read the book, I’m just suspicious of those sorts of books.

    I’m glad people working in research are so skeptical. I’ve only worked under NIH and DOD grants, and my experience is limited. I am sure the stakes are VERY different when work is funded by pharmaceutical companies.


    I didn’t mean to indicate that the book was the only thing I’d read on the subject – just that I was shocked it was so disturbing. Did I mention that this book was in support of vaccines (he wants all kids vaxed according to the current vax schedule)? Although I suppose cherry picking happens on both sides of all issues. I just couldn’t believe he’d write so poorly as to undo his own argument (at least for people who expect more or better studies/references). I don’t know if that makes any sense?

    I thought a book by a doctor would give a concise outline of the info that all medical doctors are supplied with when they are taught about vaccines – safety, efficacy, etc. Then I could look up all the articles to read them and have them for myself.

    So I do prefer to read the original journal articles, but I haven’t been able to get all the ones that I want (full text). It seems there is a hefty charge for many of them, and its disappointing when it turns out to be a weak reference and a waste of the $. I thought you had to be affiliated with a Univ or something to get full, free access to pubmed (any full text you’re looking for?), so it’s good to know something must have changed. That’s going to be a goldmine of info! Thanks for the tip!


    No, before I was in school I filtered for free full-text so I wouldn’t get my hopes up reading abstracts I couldn’t get articles for. 🙂

    Sad, but there are a lot of articles you’d have to pay for. You can still find some great ones for free. Glad you already know about pubmed – not much else to say! Unless you want to go for that PhD in immunology and come back and educate us… someone really needs to get on solving this whole vaccination controversy already.


    I thought you meant pubmed gave access to all full-text articles now. Too good to be true. 🙁 You understand how dashing it is to the soul to be denied -what sounds like- an excellent paper! 😉

    And the PhD – you hear me! With where I live today, I have to choose between non Tier-1 schools. But DH did ask me if we should look at homes near one of them. I suppose once I deliver baby #2 I can look at that again more seriously. A little daunting since I’ve been out of the race “so long”, but that’s why I stick around here – y’all make it happen w/MDs, so anything is possible.

    Who would ever fund anything more on vaccines? LOL


    [quote=EarthSky]Who would ever fund anything more on vaccines? LOL [/quote]

    I can’t tell if this is a rhetorical question or not, but my work supports many PI’s who do research on vaccines.

    And through my employers, I have unrestricted access to Pubmed! 😀


    For those yearning for full articles on Pubmed – my med school offers a ton of full articles through their subscriptions on Pubmed, and those that aren’t free – they will order for you and send the article to your email. I’m sure other med schools are the same!

    So med students…check with your schools!

    Pre-meds…think of it as a giant database full of presents upon starting your first year…ok, not really, but hopefully you laughed at that one. 🙂


    you can go to any med school or hospital library to get full access to things like pubmed. then you can email the article to yourself.

    most med schools have remote access so if you are a med student, you can get it from home. my school got me access to everything but up to date from home.

    Baton TwirlerBaton Twirler

    I have a 90% success rate with getting patients to take the flu shot. Anyone who says no, I spend about 5 minutes to understand why. 36,000 died from the flu in the US last season. If you have time to be sick for 1 week, with fevers to 102, shaking chills, coughing until you feel like your head will pop off, every muscle in your body hurts, and you feel like you will die, if you have time to be out of work for two weeks, out of school etc, then fine. If not, get the flu shot. With this and a few more facts, I have a pretty good success rate.

    All you have to do is see one 20 year old otherwise healthy college student, in the ICU with family around the bed, getting last rites, to realize, it could have been prevented with a flu shot. Yes, my kids get them every year. I may like the patient, but I don’t love them like my own kids. If I had any concerns, I would not have my own kids get the shot.

    Don’t forget the Tdap. We have had over 700 cases of pertussis in our state so far this year. Indicated for everyone!


    I agree-usually telling patients I have vaccinated my 2 year old helps them decide!


    I agree with residentmom on this. There are many individuals who think like this because they don’t have proper knowledge regarding the same. It is their fear which is holding them back.

    The best way to solve this issue is to educate peoples regarding the myth and spread correct information among them.


    The influenza vaccination is an annual vaccination using a vaccine specific for a given year to protect against the highly variable influenza virus.

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