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New study shows flu vaccines don't offer adequate protection for seniors.

Another habit worth breaking

New study shows flu vaccines don’t offer adequate protection for seniors.

Based on what I’ve learned from Dr. Wright, I stopped getting flu shots years ago. And I’ve been railing against them to my parents for years. Yet, like many seniors their age, they still line up for their vaccine every fall. This year, that line will probably be even longer: Flu vaccines may very well be in even greater demand, due to increased fears of pneumonia that were highlighted as a result of Bernie Mac’s death last month.

But some new research published recently in the highly respected medical journal The Lancet adds some weight to my argument, and hopefully will finally convince my parents — and their peers — that their flu shot habit is one in desperate need of breaking.

After examining the records of more than 3,500 patients ages 65 to 94, the reseachers found that, over the course of three different flu seasons, there was no link between the flu vaccine and risk of pneumonia.

Previous studies have indicated that people who got vaccinated had less risk of pneumonia, but after their thorough analysis, the authors of The Lancet study believe there’s a simple explanation for this phenomenon that has nothing to do with the flu shot itself. They assert that “Those who got the vaccine happened to be healthier.”

So, it’s like Dr. Wright has been saying for years: What will really protect you from the flu and pneumonia is a strong immune system — not the flu shot.

To read more about how you can protect yourself from the flu (and even treat it naturally if you should come down with it), refer back to the October 2007 issue of Nutrition & Healing. Subscribers can download it for free by visiting and logging on to the Archives with the username and password listed on page 8 of your most recent issue. (And if you’re not already a subscriber, this is information you won’t want to miss out on this cold and flu season, so the website also offers details on how you can become one.)

“Flu vaccine may not protect seniors well,” Science Daily (, 8/4/08