December 18, 2015
Barry Segal, Founder of Segal Family Foundation & Focus for Health
Every winter, we hear this terrible statistic that 36,000 of us are going to die from the flu, so we better all get flu shots. The truth is, the CDC uses an algorithm to try to guess the number, and they group the deaths together into “influenza and pneumonia”. In 2001, they reported that 62,034 people died from “influenza and pneumonia”, but only 257 were diagnosed with the flu, and only 18 of those were actually lab-confirmed. The rest (61,777) died from pneumonia. Unfortunately, severe side effects of the flu shot are underreported. By accident, we met a 22 year old athlete who got the flu shot last January, and now is completely paralyzed in his right arm and lives with severe chronic pain. His chance of dying from the flu was almost zero, but thousands of people suffer from flu shot reactions due to a shot that was only 18 to 23% effective last year. Does that make sense?
Are US flu death figures more PR than science?
If you want to read about it, here’s a good article on the subject of exaggerated statistics to boost flu shot sales.