Flu shot sales hype just crossed over into Fantasyland -- again

Could this be the craziest lie about the flu shot yet?

You can file this one under “Tall Tales.” Or maybe “Big Pharma Fantasy.”

Researchers claim they’ve discovered an unexpected, lifesaving benefit from the flu shot.

This new research is just as flimsy as the old stuff. But this time it’s a little different. That’s because it’s the second go-around. What they’re doing now is trying to spin this yarn into a truth.

Dumb and dumber

Two cockamamie studies. That’s what they’re building this insane recommendation on.

According to a team of rent-a-researchers, the flu shot reduces risk of a heart attack by 19 percent.

That’s what they told us in 2010. But anyone with first-grade math skills saw right through the scam.

It turned out that there were 19 percent fewer heart attack patients vaccinated in the previous year. That was the invented “risk reduction” So no — the flu shot did not prevent heart attacks. End of story.

Well…end of story for THAT study. Now we have a new one. Same junk science. Different methodology.

In about 560 people, half had heart attacks and half did not. It turned out that rates of flu shots happened to be lower in the heart attack group. And then the researchers take a mighty leap into pure fantasy… The flu shot prevents heart attacks.

Keep in mind, many of these people had serious heart problems. You can bet their immune systems were pushed to the limit. And of course, those who do get a shot are more likely to take care of themselves to stay healthy.

Here’s the kicker: The study was bankrolled by GlaxoSmithKline. And just five days before the study was published, the FDA approved GSK’s new flu shot. My! Isn’t THAT convenient timing!

So now we have two of these lousy studies being reported on.

But the quality of the studies doesn’t matter. The headlines are out there… “Flu shot stops heart attacks.”

Little by little, that’s how the myth will become conventional wisdom. And eventually, you’ll hear people say, “You should get a flu shot. It actually prevents heart attacks.”

Let me be clear: It ACTUALLY does NOT.

And if you want proof, consider this: If it really did, they would drop the word “flu”, rename it, sell it as a heart attack vaccine, and start pushing it twice as hard 365 days a year.

“Ischaemic heart disease, influenza and influenza vaccination: a prospective case control study” Heart, Published online ahead of print, 8/21/13, heart.bmj.com

“GSK-backed study links flu vaccine to lower risk of heart attack” Nick Paul Taylor, Fierce Vaccines, 8/22/13, fiercevaccines.com

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