Flu Shots: Not Safe. Not Effective. Can Cause Harm.

By Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, AOBNMM, ABIHM

We’re coming into the busiest time of the year. October brings Halloween parties, decorations and lots of unhealthy treats. Thanksgiving brings football, parades and a feast with family. And in December, there are gift-giving, Christmas trees, Christmas cookies, community caroling, and special religious events.

But the CDC, Big Pharma and even your doctor want to rain on your parade. They want to harsh your mellow. They want to turn those holiday smiles into the frowns, worrying about a monster they want you to believe can kill you. Yes, you guessed it…it’s time for the annual “Flu Scare.”

In 2010, the CDC began recommending annual flu shots for infants, beginning at 6 months of age. The current recommendation is for everyone – from infants to the elderly to the infirm – to get their annual flu shot. That sounds like marching orders, and if you are not careful, you may end up being trampled by the hordes of people flocking to their doctor’s office, a pharmacy, a senior center or even grocery store to be inoculated and sent on their merry way.

Let’s look at some facts. In May 2018, a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases estimated the incidence of “symptomatic influenza” each year across the U.S. Surprisingly, between 2010 and 2016, the incidence of influenza among all ages ranged from 3.0% to 11.3%, with median values of 8.3%.

What isn’t known is how many of the 8.3% had the flu shot, but contracted the illness anyway.

Influenza is an illness caused only by influenza viruses. Flu shots are designed to protect only against influenza viruses and the three or four viruses in the vaccine must “match” the influenza viruses in circulation, or they don’t protect at all.

Influenza: Big Industry, Big Money

Hyping concerns about the flu has created an entire “Influenza Industry.” The global influenza market was valued at nearly $5.6 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach nearly $6.5 billion by 2022, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.0% from 2017 through 2022. And those dollars are generated by more than just the sale and administration of flu shots.

On pages 5 and 6 of this report, the revenues are broken down into three categories (vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics), and then by company and by global region. Of note, this document is the first chapter of the Global Influenza Report for 2018, offered as a free download. To purchase the full report? Hand over $2,900 USD. Perhaps publishing dollars should be another line item on how the industry makes money.

With so much money to be made, it’s no wonder that retailers, including Publix, CVS, Walgreen’s, Target and other giant chains blare “GET YOUR FLU SHOT” through every possible advertising portal, enticing people to roll up their sleeve in exchange for a gift card or a handful of discount coupons. But if a serious side effect results, none of these purveyors have a speck of liability.

SIRVA – A New Injuries Vaccine Injury

While some degree of discomfort can be expected after any vaccination, improper administration can cause a severe injury that results in permanent, debilitating pain. In 2015, SIRVA, Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, was added to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Table. The table is the list of injuries that can be compensated through the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

Nearly 70% of all SIRVA injuries are as a result of the seasonal flu shot In a study published in VACCINE in 2007, researchers Bodor and Montalvo concluded:

Based on ultrasound measurements, we hypothesize that a vaccine injected into the subdeltoid bursa caused a periarticular inflammatory response, subacromial bursitis, bicipital tendonitis and adhesive capsulitis. Resolution of symptoms followed corticosteroid injections to the subacromial space, bicipital tendon sheath and glenohumeral joint, followed by physical therapy. We conclude that the upper third of the deltoid muscle should not be used for vaccine injections.

It has also been stated that SIRVA is more often associated with influenza vaccines because flu shots are given to so many adults. For the 2019-2020 season, manufacturers have projected they will provide as many as 162 million to 169 million doses of flu vaccine, which is similar to projected supply for last season.

Other researchers have parroted that it’s about the technique, not about the solution. The toxic vaccine slurry coming through that needle has once again been given a pass: it’s not the vaccine that causes SIRVA, it’s poor vaccination technique.

Between 2006 and 2017, 3,593 claims were submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for SIRVA, 10 times more claims than any other individual vaccine. Of these, all but 520 were granted compensation for their shoulder damage. Overall, from 1988 to 2016, 88.21% of flu shot injuries which caused SIRVA and/or Guillian Barre Syndrome (GSB) received compensation. One vaccine injury law firm, Leah V. Durant, PLLC, reported that the majority of compensation granted to their clients in 2018 was for injuries sustained from the annual flu shot. The compensation awarded ranged from $108,400 to $545,000 for injuries caused by the “safe and effective” influenza vaccine.

Not Safe. Is the flu shot effective?

Even though the CDC raves about the shot’s ability to protect a person from the flu, in reality, the protection is minimal. For example, the influenza vaccine effectiveness for all brands of the vaccine in the 2018-19 winter season was a dismal 29%. For those 9 to 17 years old, the adjusted vaccine effectiveness was only 6%.

With ‘effectiveness’ like that, is taking on the risk of vaccine side effects worth it at all?

In addition, according to my analysis of CDC data over 19 years, 85% of illness commonly called “the flu” is caused by a pathogen other than an influenza virus. This is called an “influenza-like illness.”

Memorize this: the flu shot can only protect against influenza infections, not infections caused by other viruses or bacteria. You can get the flu shot and still get “the flu.”

What other advice does the CDC give about preventing the flu?

  • Good health habits can help you prevent from getting the flu.
  • To help prevent getting the flu, try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Be sure to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. And after using a tissue, throw it into the trash and then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Be sure to clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs, like the flu.

Notice anything special about that list? Everything seems to be common sense.

So, what will you do about a flu shot this year? Perhaps you could change your habits during the upcoming “sugar season.” Don’t suppress your immune system by consuming literally pounds of refined white sugar and refined white flour. Be sure to take 5000 IU to 10,000 IU of Vitamin D along with 185 to 500 mcg of Vitamin K every day throughout the winter so your blood value of 25-OH Vitamin D is between 80 and 100ng/ml.

If you’re being required to get a flu shot for school or for your employment, print this article and share some facts. Your employer is at risk of SIRVA and GBS too.


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Dr. Sherri Tenpenny is a board-certified osteopathic medical doctor from Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Tenpenny is a practicing physician and cares for patients 2.5 days per week. Dr. Tenpenny is an internationally known expert on the problems associated with vaccines. Students from all over the world have become confident parents and articulate activists through her online educational courses, found at Courses4Mastery.com. As the “Voice for the Health Freedom,” Dr. Tenpenny is an outspoken advocate for free choice in healthcare, including the right to refuse vaccination.

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