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The Atlantic on Flu Vaccination

Atlantic Managing Editor's Note: Shannon Brownlee was just on MSNBC talking about the need for vax/unvax studies, to which the interviewer asked, "Why aren't these studies done?" Why indeed.

Whether this season’s swine flu turns out to be deadly or mild, most experts agree that it’s only a matter of time before we’re hit by a truly devastating flu pandemic—one that might kill more people worldwide than have died of the plague and aids combined. In the U.S., the main lines of defense are pharmaceutical—vaccines and antiviral drugs to limit the spread of flu and prevent people from dying from it. Yet now some flu experts are challenging the medical orthodoxy and arguing that for those most in need of protection, flu shots and antiviral drugs may provide little to none. So where does that leave us if a bad pandemic strikes?

By Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer (Shannon Brownlee is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of Overtreated (2007). Jeanne Lenzer is an investigative journalist and a frequent contributor to the British medical journal BMJ.)

Does the Vaccine Matter?

Read the full article in The Atlantic
HERE.  You can buy Ms. Brownlee's book, Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer HERE.


michael framson

Reading this article was like getting a breath of fresh air and I can breathe again. Its like having been oxygen deprived for too long.

After reading this article I realized that the usual vaccination industrialists (i.e. CDC, AAP, NBC, NPR, Media/Offit types) just suck the oxygen out the debate and they want to asphyxiate anyone asking these questions or having this kind of discussion and need for solid answers. They just try to kill everything that needs to be done regarding vaccinations.


An excellent article about challenging the data regarding efficacy of the flu vaccine. Unfortunately they end with: "There is little immediate danger from getting a seasonal flu shot, aside from a sore arm and mild flu-like symptoms. The safety of the swine flu vaccine remains to be seen."
Ginger at Adventures in Autism has a video of a woman injured by the flu vaccine and I have known of other people who suffered GBS as a result of the seasonal flu shot. Hardly innocuous.
But the article is a great start nonetheless.


Thank you Kim for posting this, and Atlantic (and especially Brownlee / Lenzer for the excellent work).

Dr Jefferson's point about the "ethical" arguments against doing vax / unvax studies, ESPECIALLY given the fact that the existing studies are "rubbish", and the authors' beautiful explanation of the circular logic behind this stance - this alone was an exposing-the-flu-hype hat-trick. How could anyone reading this not be worried about unknown risks?


THANK YOU Ms. Brownlee! How refreshing to see someone take time to look behind the marketed, standard "talking points" and see the truth!
I pray more and more people like Ms. Brownlee start saying what needs to be said.


How great to see this article in a mainstream magazine. Yay for an investigative journalist who looks behind the oft-quoted numbers. Maybe next she'll take a look at the infant schedule? Talk about overtreatment making people sicker and poorer!


The article is absolutely fascinating and a must-read . . .

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