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Federal Health Agency Not Good at Vaccine Statistics and Math

People often wonder where the federal government get numbers for statistics

In a recent article titled “Flu vaccine statistics don’t add up” authored by J L Craig, BSN, PhD,  influenza statistics are taken to task for glaring misinterpretation by none other than the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC. So what else is new? (http://www.bclocalnews.com/opinion…)

Citing statistics published in a recent Lancet article (thelancet.com/journals) that flu shots prevent flu in only 1.5 out of 100 adults, the CDC considers that proof that flu vaccines work and are 60 percent effective. Hold the phone! What are they smoking? What happened to the 98.5 percent of those who were vaccinated for flu and for whom it supposedly did nothing, according to the mega analysis?

This short but enlightening article about how CDC and probably other government health agencies mess with vaccine statistics ought to make parents of children—and everyone—wonder about the spin put out by the feds and Big Pharma as to the demographics, facts, and studies regarding vaccine safety and efficacy.

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Here’s where we caught them either with their knickers down or their hands in the cookie jar. But this most likely is not the first time, and probably won’t be the last. It’s probably their standard MO—modus operandi. Now do you believe them?

If that’s not convincing enough, consider this about the 2009 H1N1 ‘swine’ flu:

Ninety-one percent of those autopsied had underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease or respiratory disease, including asthma, before becoming ill with 2009 H1N1 influenza. Seventy-two percent of the adults and adolescents who died were obese. This finding agrees with earlier reports, based on hospital records, linking obesity with an increased risk of death from 2009 H1N1 influenza.” [Emphasis added] http://www.nih.gov/news/health/dec2009/niaid-07.htm

And one more thing! How do the feds ‘prepare’ for a flu season campaign? Just take a gander at this ‘promotional’ material created for the 2004-05 Influenza Vaccination Season by Glen Nowak, PhD, Associate Director of Communications, National Immunization Program:

Quiz Question Number 2 cites a figure of 200,000 people that can be killed from complications from flu. Don’t you remember that the CDC had to downgrade their flu death figures from 36,000 to 24,000 in an average flu season? Here’s The New York Times article of August 27, 2010 that discussed the CDC’s action,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday substantially lowered its often-quoted estimate of how many people die in a typical flu season, to 24,000 from 36,000. The previous estimate, the agency said, was based on a study of the years 1990 to 1999, during which the H3N2 strain of flu predominated, and H3N2 is far more deadly to the elderly than the other two common seasonal strains, H1N1 and B.

Here’s another ‘gotcha’ moment! If the estimated number of people to die in a typical flu season was based upon the years 1990 to 1999, then what is the scare tactic being used in Quiz Question Number 2 citing 200,000 for the 2004-05 influenza campaign all about? Tsk, tsk, tsk!

And take a look at this, which seems to tell it like it is, and probably is the reason why the feds want to get sales campaigns going for flu vaccines—not everyone buys into vaccination mythology:

Many People Don’t Get an annual Influenza Vaccination

  • Overall, 35% (of 1,001 surveyed) said they got or planned to get a flu vaccine, while 65% did not (AP/Ipsos survey)
  • 40% of respondents age 50-64 said they had received a flu vaccination in the past three months (Harvard)
  • About 47% with chronic illnesses did not get a flu vaccination (Harvard)
  • Seven in ten parents said they did not have their children vaccinated (AP/Ipsos)
  • 78% of parents with children 6-23 months had not had their child vaccinated, although 74% said they were aware of the recommendation (Harvard).
  • http://www.scribd.com/doc/19212191/2004flunowak Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Department of Health and Human Services

Are you prepared for this coming flu season’s lampooning of health statistics? Now that you know the public relations side and spin on flu vaccines and the feds marketing campaigns, how about sharing this information. Do you think such tactics apply to other vaccines?

 

Photo Credit: Pearls of Jannah

Catherine J. Frompovich
 

Catherine J Frompovich is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting. Catherine is an editor and writing consultant who helps authors get into publication. For numerous semesters she taught several writing courses for a suburban Philadelphia school district’s Adult Evening School. Her passion is assisting and guiding authors into print. Catherine’s latest book, A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, will be available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook sometime in July 2012. Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008).

  • They skew stats all the time.  The info is all available in public records. We need to do our own math. Here’s what happened why I didn’t my own math about the measles vax: http://www.everythingbirthblog.com/2011/10/putting-measles-into-perspective/

  • Catherine J Frompovich

    Dawn,
    I checked out your blog “Putting Measles Into Perspective” and I encourage everyone reading this article/post to do the same.  It seems to me that your computer works a little differently than those who calculate the official statistics.  I think I know what’s missing from your computer: The fear factor button that has to play on parents and the public at large.  Scare the living daylights out of them with make-believe numbers and the ‘sheeple’ will gobble it up like candy. 

    Thank you for enhancing my article with your comment.  I truly appreciate that and the work you do in exposing the measles myth.  Would you like to join us here at VacTruth and write with us?  Personally, I’d like to invite you because we need people who can think and use calculators correctly.

  • Misramadhu

    I dont know what kind of motto the CDC has, but it ought to be  “The truth is a moving target”
      There are many reasons for this and it isnt just statistics that come in the way of the truth.
      Here  are a couple of truths that no one ever talks about:  Damage to the immune system by mercury vaccines results in disease that would otherwise not occur.  Look at all the diseases which the books claim are common in babies age 9 months to 2 years.  Well, would those babies even have got sick at all, if you hadnt damaged their immune systems with your Thimerosal?    Now look at all the people who never get even one ray of sunlight on their skin..How can we expect them not to get sick.  Yet we are supposed to blame the virus or bacteria, and search for a vaccine, or give them a vaccine. 
       Finally, even the medical texts become corrupted.  I shall give one example that I have found: A medical text in India clearly states that SSPE , can be a result of the measles vaccine.  But, try to find that info in the U.S.  (Please correct me if Im wrong)  Everything I saw on Google about SSPE blamed  the wild measles virus only for SSPE.   ( By the way, I should mention that SSPE is a ghastly brain disorder, which often ends with death)   So , when we talk about risk versus benefit of the measles vaccine, we have , no doubt left out the cases of SSPE .
        On Google you can see the account of a case of a boy, adopted from Asia, who years later developed SSPE and died.   Doctors imagined that he died of the result of a case of wild measles which he  had many years ago in Asia. r Couldnt be caused by that MMR he got after being adopted  and brought to the US. No sirree!      How many years is it going to take to straighten out all the medical textbook errors  resulting from vaccine effects that no one wants to admit to?  

  • Anonymous

    Thank you  Catherine for this excellent description concerning statistics manipulation. Dawn B P’s comment is also a well formulated eye-opener!

    Presentation of safety statistics is obviously very important in connection with application for drug approval.  No wonder that statisticians have an extremely high standing in the pharmaceutical industry.

    It is incredible that statistics, which the pharmaceutical industry manipulate in order to present favourable results, are widely swallowed and regarded as “proof”.  

    When reports of for example GBS and narcolepsy have rolled in after vaccination programs, health authorities/vaccine promoters present figures showing that that there is normally an even higher incidence in the general population and therefore the vaccines are safe. Why on earth should we believe their information?

    Quote from  “The Great White Hoax” by Robert E. Catalano:
    “If medical statistics were compiled by statisticians who had no interest in the outcome, the drug industry would topple into the dust”.

  • And dont forget this BMJ article stating that the US influenza numbers are inflated: http://thinktwice.com/BMJ_Flu.pdf 

  • vmv

    This is an excellent article. However, the number of flu deaths is much, much less than 24,000–more like 1,000 or less. I am saying this because the CDC originally came up with the 36,000 figure by adding the total for pneumonia deaths, which is many times higher than the number of flu deaths, to the total for flu deaths. In addition to that, the majority of deaths from the flu is in the elderly–people over 60 or 70 (I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me).

  • Catherine J Frompovich

    VMV,
    I agree with your observation, but I have to use the CDC’s figures they use to prove that they monkey around with statistics/demographics.  Real, honest-to-goodness influenza deaths–if reported correctly–probably would shock not only the public, but the CDC and FDA, because most deaths attributed to flu really are from pneumonia.

  • Catherine J Frompovich

    Marlene, I love it when my readers enhance my articles, and you just did that by recommending http://thinktwice.com/BMJ_Flu.pdf. Thank you.  I wish everyone in the USA would have access to that article’s information.  Maybe it could turn heads in the correct direction regarding flu vaccines and the hype that goes with them. 

    There is some indication that flu vaccines may be doing more harm than good, especially for senior citizens.  Being injected with aluminum that just may be the cause of many of the dementias older folks are experiencing.  Speaking of demographics, if you check back over the last hundred years, there never has been a ‘pandemic’ of Alzheimer’s or other dementias as there has been in the last 20 or so years.  Lock-down Alzheimer’s facilities attest to that sad state of health, which just may result from aluminum in the annual flu vaccines seniors are prodded to get. 

  • Mathman

    I copied this directly from the web page where CF got her story. Learn to understand the math Catherine. This isn’t the first time you’ve not understood statistics.

    1) The calculation is called relative risk, and is the statistical method by which the efficacy of two drugs – ANY two drugs, including things like aspirin, blood pressure medication, or any other drug in mainstream medical use – are compared in randomized controlled trials, which is the best study design that is available.  The math is correct.

    2) Claiming that because the absolute risk decreased by 1.5%, then the vaccine did nothing for the other 98.5% of people in the study doesn’t even make sense and was written purely to stir up controversy.  Either that or the author has no idea how to interpret statistics.

    3)Multiply the absolute risk reduction over the population to see how many cases are prevented. 1.5% = .015 * 325000000 (for the US) = 4875000. That is 4.8 million cases of influenza prevented annually by the administration of the vaccine (if everybody in the population were vaccinated).

  • Mathman

    I copied this directly from the web page where CF got her story. Learn to understand the math Catherine. This isn’t the first time you’ve not understood statistics.

    1) The calculation is called relative risk, and is the statistical method by which the efficacy of two drugs – ANY two drugs, including things like aspirin, blood pressure medication, or any other drug in mainstream medical use – are compared in randomized controlled trials, which is the best study design that is available.  The math is correct.

    2) Claiming that because the absolute risk decreased by 1.5%, then the vaccine did nothing for the other 98.5% of people in the study doesn’t even make sense and was written purely to stir up controversy.  Either that or the author has no idea how to interpret statistics.

    3)Multiply the absolute risk reduction over the population to see how many cases are prevented. 1.5% = .015 * 325000000 (for the US) = 4875000. That is 4.8 million cases of influenza prevented annually by the administration of the vaccine (if everybody in the population were vaccinated).

  • Catherine J Frompovich

    Mathman,
    I respectfully disagree with you, as I cite statistics reported in publications that supposedly pass peer review.  What you want to do with your machinations of numbers is entirely up to YOU, which probably is the same type of math used by CDC, FDA and others who have to prove statistics lie.  Knock it off and please don’t call me out, because it’s YOU who are in plain English “screwing around” with not only the figures, but also with people’s perceptions, thinking, and minds. Cool it! 

  • CalvinTy

    First, I rarely comment on any online articles because I don’t have the time to do so & I’m already a motormouth, LOL (maybe because I’m a deaf person and I type all the time, I don’t know).  I stumbled on this link through another link through another link I meant to look at (you get the picture).  I am not a statistician and I personally feel I don’t have enough opinion on vaccinations (yet) to be either “pro-vax” or “anti-vax” as I saw these words being used.

    Second, I can see passionate commentators on both sides of this general vaccination arena.  Since I’m a logical person and do follow numbers well, I did look through the links mentioned and I thought I should clarify for all involved (and I welcome comments if I should stand corrected on any misinterpretations I have — after all, it’s my first time on this website):

    J.L. Craig, BSN, Ph.D (http://www.bclocalnews.com/opinion/letters/133914023.html) began to explain very well about the numbers then appeared to cloud it with personal opinions (my perception) —13,095 non-vaccinated adults in control group
    357 got flu
    only 2.73 percent got flu — (a very powerful stat, indeed)

    (unknown) total number of people in treatment group**
    (unknown) number of people getting flu
    reported 1.18 percent of this group got flu

    ** “received trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine”

    Without knowing the total number of people in treatment group (which will tell us how many people did get flu after vaccination), neither side can really make a case for their case — we can only go by the known percentages mentioned:

    2.73% of non-vaccinated adults got flu
    1.18% of vaccinated group got flu anyway

    If we were to assume, and I think this is key, that both percentages would work with larger hypothetical sample of, say, 100,000 control and treatment group members:

    100,000 control
    2.73 percent got flu
    2,730 people got flu

    100,000 treatment
    1.18 percent got flu anyway
    1,180 people got flu anyway

    That would suggest that that particular vaccination did reduce the number of flu cases by 43% (1,180/2,730).

    I’m not certain how to make sense of this part:  “You then say that 0.43 is 43 per cent of 2.73 and claim that the vaccine results in a 57 per cent decrease in flu infections. This becomes the 60 per cent effectiveness claim.”

    So I’m not qualified to say that CDC is making a false claim of 60 percent effectiveness as they may be in error.  I just noticed that the percentage difference of 2.73% and 1.18% is quite significant than what J.L. Craig, BSN, Ph.D said here:

    “Now even if you don’t understand statistics, common sense will tell you
    comparing 2.73 per cent non-vaccinated who got the flu with 1.8 per cent
    vaccinated who got the flu, shows very little difference.”

    (Notice the very important typo by saying “1.8 per cent” when this person meant to say “1.18 per cent”).  I’m not good at articulating sometimes but look at this way — 1.18% vaccinated people getting flu anyway — even if we DOUBLE that percentage — that does not reach 2.73% of control group getting the flu.  So I can see how 57% or 60% “ballpark” looks correct to me.

    That’s why I bothered to post here.  Don’t bash me or flame here, alright?  :-)

    Cheers,

    * CalvinTy

  • CalvinTy

    I see an error in my post but it didn’t affect the intent of the post:

    I had said —

    “That would suggest that that particular vaccination did reduce the number of flu cases by 43% (1,180/2,730).”

    I should mean to say —

    “That would suggest that that particular vaccination did reduce the number of flu cases by 57% ( (2,730-1,180) / 2,730 ).”

    2,730 = non-vaccinated got flu
    1,180 = vaccinated got flu anyway
    1,550 = difference of people in hypothetical 100,000 control & treatment groups that *did not* get flu after vaccination

    Regards,

    * CalvinTy

  • Mathman

    Nice straw man argument Catherine, but the math quoted from the website is correct. By the way, since you missed it when you replied – I didn’t do the math, it came from the comments section on the website where you lifted your story from. I merely verified it’s accuracy before I posted it here. So, in your own words – “it’s YOU who are in plain English “screwing around” with not only the figures, but also with people’s perceptions, thinking, and minds. Cool it!” 
    Show me where the math is wrong and I’ll apologize, which is more than you are willing to do based on your responses on other articles.

  • Don’t Drink the Kool Aid

    The math isn’t wrong, but misrepresentation of the math is, and either you too are attempting to be deceptive, or you are just arrogantly ignorant. Here are the statistics directly from Figure 2 of the Lancet article: In the Control group, 357/13095 (2.73%) of people who didn’t receive vaccines got the flu. Of the Treatment group, 221/18797 (1.18%) of those vaccinated received the flu. When you divide the former into the latter, you come up with .43. Subtract 43% from 100 and you get the bogus and misleading nearly 60% effectiveness rating. In this particular case, 57% is the actual difference between influenza in the vaccinated and un-vaccinated groups. Twisting this around to say that 57 of every 100 who take the vaccine will be protected from the flu – as the official statistics do – is a completely disingenuous lie.

    In point 2 of your post, you say: “Claiming that because the absolute risk decreased by 1.5%, then the
    vaccine did nothing for the other 98.5% of people in the study doesn’t
    even make sense and was written purely to stir up controversy.  Either
    that or the author has no idea how to interpret statistics.” Again, either you are trying to misrepresent the numbers, or else it is you who has no idea how to interpret statistics. In the process, you are ignoring the
    entire point of what you claim is the “best study design that is
    available”: randomized controlled trials. How could vaccines have possibly done something positive for the Control group (which makes up just over 40% of the 98.5% you cited above,) when they weren’t even vaccinated? You cite use of logic in your second post, but I’d suggest you learn to use it yourself before attempting to correct others.

    The bottom line is, 96-97% of the population – whether or not they get vaccinated – will not get the flu. If someone trusts Big Pharma funded research enough to obtain an additional 1 or 2% of potential protection, more power to them. That said, deceiving people into making that choice based on bogus statistics is unconscionable, and shouldn’t be tolerated.  

      

  • Guest

    The math isn’t wrong, but misrepresentation of the math is, and either you too are attempting to be deceptive, or you are just arrogantly ignorant. Here are the statistics directly from Figure 2 of the Lancet article: In the Control group, 357/13095 (2.73%) of people who didn’t receive vaccines got the flu. Of the Treatment group, 221/18797 (1.18%) of those vaccinated received the flu. When you divide the former into the latter, you come up with .43. Subtract 43% from 100 and you get the bogus and misleading nearly 60% effectiveness rating. In this particular case, 57% is the actual difference between influenza in the vaccinated and un-vaccinated groups. Twisting this around to say that 57 of every 100 who take the vaccine will be protected from the flu – as the official statistics do – is a completely disingenuous lie.

    In point 2 of your post, you say: “Claiming that because the absolute risk decreased by 1.5%, then the
    vaccine did nothing for the other 98.5% of people in the study doesn’t
    even make sense and was written purely to stir up controversy.  Either
    that or the author has no idea how to interpret statistics.” Again, either you are trying to misrepresent the numbers, or else it is you who has no idea how to interpret statistics. In the process, you are ignoring the
    entire point of what you claim is the “best study design that is
    available”: randomized controlled trials. How could vaccines have possibly done something positive for the Control group (which makes up just over 40% of the 98.5% you cited above,) when they weren’t even vaccinated? You cite use of logic in your second post, but I’d suggest you learn to use it yourself before attempting to correct others.

    The bottom line is, 96-97% of the population – whether or not they get vaccinated – will not get the flu. If someone trusts Big Pharma funded research enough to obtain an additional 1 or 2% of potential protection, more power to them. That said, deceiving people into making that choice based on bogus statistics is unconscionable, and shouldn’t be tolerated.