NJ Assembly Bill 4576 proposes annual forced flu vaccination for all students to reduce the number of children who experience severe flu and COVID symptoms and help reduce competition for medical resources such as ER and ICU visits.
Forced flu vaccination will not accomplish these goals. There is significant evidence showing that mandating annual flu shots will make matters worse because flu vaccination:
- increases the risk of catching pre-COVID-19 corona viruses,
- increases the chance children will get other respiratory illnesses,
- increases hospitalization of children,
- caused enhanced H1N1 illness,
- hampers cross reactivity of t-cells (crucial to fighting COVID-19).
Let’s review some of the relevant literature.
- A double blind randomized controlled trial done in 2020 found those who received the flu vaccine had increased risk (odds ratio 0.36) of being susceptible to pre-COVID-19 corona viruses.
- A double blind randomized controlled trail done in 2012 showed children vaccinated for influenza (TIV) were more likely (relative risk 4.4) to get sick with other respiratory illnesses. Furthermore, it show no significant difference in the risk of confirmed seasonal influenza between those vaccinated and the placebo group.
- A nested case control study of pediatric subjects evaluated the efficacy of TIV in preventing hospitalization at the Mayo Clinic during each flu season from 1999 to 2006 concluded that “TIV did not provide any protection against hospitalization in pediatric subjects, especially children with asthma. On the contrary, we found a threefold increased risk of hospitalization in subjects who did get the TIV vaccine.”
- Furthermore 4 observational studies in Canada during the H1N1 pandemic showed “that prior receipt of 2008–09 TIV was associated with increased risk of medically attended pH1N1 illness during the spring–summer 2009.” A follow up study on ferrets concluded that “they support the hypothesis that prior receipt of 2008–09 TIV may have had direct, adverse effects on H1N1 illness. Both human and ferret findings from Canada are consistent with observations elsewhere of enhanced disease following heterologous influenza challenge in vaccinated swine.”
- A small study comparing annually vaccinated children with cystic fibrosis concluded: “Long-term annual vaccination using inactivated vaccines may hamper the induction of cross-reactive CD8+ T cell responses by natural infections and thus may affect the induction of heterosubtypic immunity. This may render young children who have not previously been infected with an influenza virus more susceptible to infection with a pandemic influenza virus of a novel subtype.”
Beyond these studies there are a couple of ongoing discussions within the scientific community worthy of note.
First, scientist are questioning if the flu shot could have made older people more vulnerable to COVID-19 and some have even complied some basic data.
Second, there is significant debate regarding the value of the flu shot in reducing hospitalizations or mortality among elderly persons, in protecting healthy individuals, and if it should even be recommended for use.