Annual flu deaths in the UK averaged no more than 33 over the last 4 years despite various UK Department of Health claims that 12,000 people die annually: 360 times higher than actual deaths. Fictitiously high death rates from flu continue to be invoked resulting in scaremongering despite scientific evidence the vaccines are ineffective for at risk groups. In 2007 it was claimed that 25,000 people died from flu annually – 720 times the 2010 figure.
Disclosures by out-going Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson show the flu death figures are fabricated. Donaldson posted details late on Christmas Eve on the British Medical Journal electronic letters after challenge by British Medical Journal deputy editor Tony Delamothe. Donaldson wrote:-
…. annual mortality statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics …. record the underlying cause of death. They are based on all registered deaths, based on the information on death certificates. The number of deaths for England & Wales with an underlying cause of influenza (ICD-10 code J10-J11) for the four recent calendar years are: 39 (2008), 31 (2007), 17 (2006) and 44 (2005). Many more deaths are attributed to pneumonia, some of which will be secondary to influenza.
Responses to “Mortality from pandemic A/H1N1 2009 influenza in England: public health surveillance study” BMJ 2009; 339: b5213
But Donaldson also gave the official method of “estimating” flu deaths which can greatly inflate the numbers:
The official estimate of influenza mortality is produced by the Health Protection Agency. It is derived from excess all-cause death registrations in the winter. When the number of all-cause death registrations rises above an ‘expected’ level in a given week, this excess is counted. The estimates for the last five years in England & Wales are: 1965 (2004-05 winter season), 0 (2005-06), 0 (2006-07), 426 (2007- 08), and 10351 (2008-09). The highest estimate in recent years was for the 1999-2000 ‘flu season, at 21,497.
In two of five recent years the figure was zero. Using this averaging “method” it is inevitable in some years the “flu deaths” figure will be a negative number, meaning fewer deaths than average. The Department of Health has also tried to associate flu death with entire excess mortality for the winter season. In a BBC news report Sir Liam declared during the annual flu vaccine “drive” in 2007:
According to Department of Health figures, flu contributes to over 25,000 excess winter deaths every year and thousands of people are hospitalised due to serious complications.” At-risk urged to get flu vaccine BBC News Channel 27/9/07
Less ambiguously a pamphlet on pandemic flu, published by the Department of Health and with an introduction by Sir Liam states:
Ordinary flu occurs every year during the winter months in the UK. It affects 10-15% of the UK population, causing around 12,000 deaths every year.” “Explaining pandemic flu: A guide from the Chief Medical Officer“
Dr Jefferson, a Cochrane Collaboration reviewer independent of drug companies is concerned that the flu vaccine is being hyped into the ‘must have flu prevention’. He stated in the British Medical Journal in October 2006, that given the huge resources involved in yearly vaccination campaigns, an urgent re-evaluation was needed, as fresh analysis of study data revealed much of the prior research was flawed with little proof of the ‘flu jab’s merit. His opinion is that flu vaccines not worth the effort. Influenza viruses vary from year to year so the effects of the vaccines are unknown and Jefferson has said:-
What you see is that marketing rules the response to influenza, and scientific evidence comes fourth or fifth.”: “2 Studies Question the Effectiveness of Flu Vaccines” – The New York Times By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL – September 21, 2005
People should ask whether it’s worth investing these trillions of dollars and euros in these vaccines.” “Studies question flu vaccines’ effectiveness” – The Seattle Times By Rob Stein [The Washington Post] Thursday, September 22, 2005
Dr Jefferson’s Summary points:-
- urgent re-evaluation is needed because of the disparity between official panic and the lack of good evidence to support the steps taken
- the best evidence shows current inactivated vaccines have little or no effect despite public policymakers world-wide recommending their use to prevent seasonal ‘flu outbreaks
- most studies are of poor quality and the impact of confounding factors is high
- little evidence exists on the safety of these vaccines
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