[SaneVax: Scientists have launched a public debate on the sanity of mandatory flu vaccinations while many healthcare workers are being deprived of their jobs for exercising their right to choose whether or not to accept annual flu shots. When it comes to personal rights versus public health, it pays to know both sides of the issue before you take a stand. A huge thanks from the SaneVax team to those scientists and medical professionals with the courage to openly discuss the merits and demerits of mandatory vaccines.]
Opinion: Scientist fires latest shot in mandatory flu vaccine debate
By Dr. Tom Jefferson, Cochrane Respiratory Infections Group
Dr. Perry Kendall’s responses to my comments (in Monday’s Vancouver Sun) are as disturbing as his original misreporting of my research.He states that the influenza vaccine is “60 per cent effective” and concludes that it reduces the chances somebody will pick up the virus and pass it on to patients. The figure of 60 per cent is a relative estimate which gives an inflated impression of performance. The best evidence of the performance of the influenza vaccine comes from trials in healthy adults. The relevant Cochrane review was first published in 1999 and has been updated several times since. The review shows that you need to vaccinate between 33 and 99 adults to avoid the onset of symptoms in one person. On average the vaccines prevent the loss of half a working day. There is no evidence in any literature that the vaccine avoids person-to-person spread as (chief health officer for B.C.) Kendall seems to imply. Another of his statements shows just how ideologically-driven his policies are. “When asked how many patients die each year because they pick up viruses like the flu, Kendall said he didn’t know because the information is not routinely collected.” If he does not know how many people die because of influenza, how does he know it’s a problem of such proportion to justify coercive policies?