Flu jabs – doing more harm than good?


Posted on November 2nd, by geoff in CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

I regard people who mindlessly oppose all forms of vaccinations as being similar in outlook to creationists and climate change deniers, but close experience of the potential adverse effects of some vaccinations makes me a little sceptical of claims by some health leaders that all vaccines are safe, effective panaceas.

When working as a nurse in the 1980s, I looked after an attractive lady in her thirties who, along with other neurological signs, had permanently lost all control of her bladder as a consequence of an adverse reaction to the smallpox vaccine – her case notes supported this, noting that it was a recognised, but very rare occurrence (something like one in 20,000).

My own mother-in-law developed a permanent debilitating neurological condition within weeks of receiving a flu vaccination – her doctors neither confirm nor deny a possible link.

At the beginning of winter, at the end of 2005, Cannon Capital chief executive James Flaherty described flu vaccination for elderly people as ‘euthanasia by the back door’. Speaking to attendees at a Caring Times Christmas Lunch, Mr Flaherty asked providers if they had noticed an increase in post-flu-jab mortality – all of them had.

Amid calls for care providers to pay for their staff to have flu jabs, I would suggest that, while it is clear that the decision to have a flu vaccination rests solely with the individual, where the responsibility lies in the advent of a demonstrable adverse effect is less clear. Employers who offer to take the financial sting out of a flu jab may be wise to ensure that disclaimers are signed beforehand. The same of course applies in respect of residents.

Vaccinations have undoubtedly been responsible for global improvements in public health and have reduced much human heartache and misery but, while I am no immunologist, I do know that the flu viruses can reconfigure themselves in very short time-frames, and that developing effective, safe vaccinations against them is very problematic. There’s no way I’d consent to having one – I’d rather take my chance against the flu.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.




One response to “Flu jabs – doing more harm than good?”

  1. Catherine O'Driscoll says:

    I find it difficult to understand why we continue with flu jabs since the publication of the Cochrane Report which showed that flu jabs have no benefit. They don’t reduce hospital admissions, time off work, or deaths. They do, though, come with documented risks, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, paralysis, narcolepsy, neurological problems, and – of course – death.


Latest blog posts

Delayed discharge oversight holds promise

By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON

Although post-Budget celebrations have been understandably muted, social care providers might derive some consolation from the Chancellor’s sub-text. The improvement measures...

Not wishing to seem ungrateful, but . . .

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

The great and the good have comprehensively welcomed the extra £2bn over three years of our money which...

Mixed provision in a mixed retirement market

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

A man recently wrote to my local paper objecting to retirement units being built near to the centre of...