What People Need to Know About Flu Shot Propaganda

How Big Pharma, the CDC and Big Medicine Have Deceived Us by the Cunning Use of Statistics

Gary G. Kohls, MD

What Logically Vaccine-hesitant Patients Need to Know About the Annual Flu Shot Propaganda  

How Big Pharma, the CDC and Big Medicine Have Deceived Us by the Cunning Use of Statistics


The CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) was born, just like the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), as an important regulatory agency of the United States government. The intent of the legislation that authorized both watchdog groups was to regulate various corrupt and monopoly-seeking for-profit healthcare-related industries that could harm the health of the populace that are otherwise powerless to protect themselves from the dangerous practices of powerful healthcare-related industries.  

Tragically, over the past few generations (most significantly starting with the presidency of the pro-Big Business, pro-Big Pharma Ronald Reagan), both the CDC and the FDA have been seriously co-opted by Big Pharmaceutical Corporations, their Big Bank lenders and the ubiquitous corporate lobbying groups that propagandize our legislators in DC.  

Simultaneously, the CDC and FDA have abandoned their original mission of protecting the people from the inevitable adverse consequences of pharmaceutical greed and the toxic and addictive products that they manufacture and market, which results in the production of even more toxic polluting by-products that they then secretly dispose of in the soil, water and air.  

The multimillionaire owners, investors, lobbying groups and think tanks of corporate America have become grotesquely wealthy and powerful because of their investments in the multitude of highly profitable anti-democratic (non-elected) entities that over-charge for the drugs and vaccines that also commonly sicken the consumers of those medicines. The toxic adverse side effects include drug-drug and vaccine-vaccine interactions, which are actually iatrogenic disorders (= doctor- or drug-caused).  

The control that those corporate entities have acquired is easily seen in the day-to-day activities of America’s corporate-infiltrated White House, the corporate-influenced Congress and Supreme Court, each of which is doing the biding of whatever entities are currently profiting from Wall Street’s and War Street’s often secret agendas.  

There should be no surprise as to why many governmental entities, many of our regulatory agencies, Big Pharma, Big Vaccine, Wall Street, etc have lost credibility with awakened, abused and neglected citizens. But in this column, I have focused on the CDC, which buys and sells 4 billion dollars-worth of vaccines every year from their cronies in the Big Vaccine corporations. The CDC also, it must be pointed out, owns 56 vaccine-related patents that are projected to make the CDC’s elites a lot of money in the future, much of which will be used for the lavish bonuses for the higher-ups. And the FDA is not much cleaner. Conflicts of interest are everywhere.  

The CDC is no longer an un-biased entity that protects the citizenry from sociopathic corporations. As a matter of fact, the CDC actually acts like a corporation. A good example is the annual push by the CDC to get everybody in American to get their flu shots despite the powerful (and censored-out) evidence that influenza vaccines can be seriously harmful while offering little or no benefit.   What follows is a critique of what has become an institution in corporate-controlled America: The unconscious acceptance of annual flu shots.


Vaccine Efficacy (VE) is the percentage reduction of disease outcomes in a vaccinated group of people compared to an unvaccinated group, using the most favorable conditions. It is best measured using double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trials, which are rarely done. A VE of 60% means that a vaccinated group of people has a 60% Relative Risk Reduction (see definition immediately below) of a given outcome compared to an unvaccinated group.  

Relative Risk Reduction (RRR) is a deceptive statistic that is commonly-used by Big Pharma and the CDC to over-estimate the reduction in risk or outcome for a treatment group when compared to an untreated control group (ideally a placebo-controlled group). RRR is commonly a gross exaggeration of the actual effectiveness of a drug or vaccine and is therefore favored by entities that want to promote a drug or vaccine by exaggerating its efficacy. The more useful Absolute Risk Reduction statistic (see below) is essentially never used in medical journal reporting, perhaps because it more accurately describes the weaknesses, adverse effects, risks and failures of any treatment modality.  

Absolute Risk Reduction (ARR) signifies the absolute or actual difference in the reduction in risk between an untreated group and a group of treated individuals. The importance in being able to understand the difference between RRR and ARR is well illustrated in the Merck Fosamax Fraud case described further below.   The Number Needed to Vaccinate (NNV) is the number of individuals that must be vaccinated for an expected benefit to be attained in one individual. (Some examples of NNV are listed below.  

The Number Needed to Treat (NNT) is the number of individuals that must be treated with a drug, vaccine or surgery that results in a measurable benefit to one individual. It is the inverse of ARR. The larger the NNV (or NNT) is, the more useless is the treatment.   Examples of NNV and NNT Statostocs  

A Cochrane Review publication from 2018, states: 71 healthy adults would have to be vaccinated with a flu shot to prevent one case of influenza. (NNV = 71)   Another example of NNV comes from a Pediatrics journal article from 2007: “Between 4255 and 6897 children ages 24–59 months of age would have to be vaccinated for influenza to prevent one hospitalization.” (NNV = A number between 4255 and 6807)  

“6000 to 32,000 hospital workers would need to be vaccinated with the flu shot before a single patient death would be averted.” (NNV = A number between 6,000 and 32,000 for hospital healthcare workers to prevent one patient from dying because of influenza contagion from an un-vaccinated worker) - https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0163586  

“33,784 - 38,610 infants would need to be vaccinated with the Group B meningococcal vaccine in order to prevent one case of invasive Group B meningococcal disease.” (NNV for Group B Meningococcal Vaccine = >33,000) – From BMC Infect Dis, 12 (1) (2012), p. 202   And from a 2007 UCLA publication: 231 adults 70 years of age or older would have to be vaccinated for shingles to prevent 1 case of Herpes Zoster.” (NNV = 231)   “The NNV for Prevnar-13 to prevent one case of invasive pneumonia in low-risk asthmatic adults is estimated to be as high as 1059.” (NNV = 1059 for Prevnar-13 to prevent one case of invasive pneumonia) --https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4173976/  

“Assuming that Gardasil procures lifelong protection and that its vaccine efficacy is 95% (both irrationally over-optimistic assumptions!), and if vaccine protection is assumed to wane at 3% per year (also an over-optimistic assumption), the predicted NNV would increase to 9,080. In other words, one would have to vaccinate and give booster Gardasil shots regularly to 9,080 girls to prevent one case of cervical cancer).” One of the conclusions of a Canadian Medical Association Journal article (3 of the authors actually had financial conflicts of interest with Gardasil’s maker, Merck & Co. From www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/177/5/464/DC1  

Common experience will understand that “The NNT for treating penicillin-sensitive streptococcal pharyngitis with penicillin is 1, and the NNT for any treatment that only cures half of the patients is 2.”  

A Cochrane Review from 2011 states: “104 patients would have to take a statin drug for 5 years to prevent one heart attack.” (NNT = 104)  

“To spare one person a heart attack, 100 people had to take Lipitor for more than three years, and for every 10 patients taking a statin drug for 5 years, one of them will develop statin-induced myonecrosis.” (NNT = 100 for Lipitor to prevent one heart attack after taking the drug continuously for > 3 years. (Number Needed to Harm [NNH] = 10, for patients who take a statin for 5 years.) - from: http://www.thennt.com/nnt/statins-for-heart-disease-prevention-without-prior-heart-disease/)  

“There are only 30 to 40 cervical cancer cases per year per one million women between the ages of 9 and 26. Therefore, you would have to vaccinate (with Gardasil) one million girls to prevent cervical cancer in 4 to 5 girls; and since only 1/3 of women who develop cervical cancer actually die from the disease, you would have to vaccinate one million girls to prevent 1 to 2 deaths per year - at the “bargain-basement price” of $360 million per year.” – Dr Joseph Mercola  

“I predict that Merck’s Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all time because at some point in time, the evidence will add up to prove that this vaccine, technical and scientific feat that it may be, has absolutely no effect on cervical cancer and that all the very many adverse effects which destroy lives and even kill, serve no other purpose than to generate profits for the manufacturers. Gardasil is useless and dangerous, and it costs a fortune!” -- Dr Bernard Dalbergue (former Merck employee)  

For more on understanding how Big Pharma and Big Medicine use deception in reporting statistics, go to: https://freepress.org/article/nnv-number-needed-vaccinate-and-nnt-number-needed-treat

Misuse of Medical Statistics by Researchers that also have Financial Conflicts of Interest   In 2009 GlaxoSmithKline’s package insert for its influenza vaccine Flulaval read (in fine print): “not adequately demonstrated to decrease influenza”. In more recent Flulaval package inserts, that sentence has been removed. The statement now reads: “Vaccination with FLULAVAL QUADRIVALENT may not protect all susceptible individuals.”   On June 22, 2017 a New England Journal of Medicine article was published. It can be accessed at https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1608862#t=abstract. The article was about a new influenza vaccine (Flublok) that was developed and manufactured by a privately-held vaccine corporation called Protein Sciences. The new vaccine was compared only with standard flu vaccines and not to an unvaccinated group.  

The article claimed that the new influenza vaccine had a 40% improvement in “vaccine effectiveness” compared to standard flu vaccines. However, hidden in the deceptive abstract - and deliberately NOT pointed out - were these figures:   96 of the 4303 study participants (2.2 %) who received the new vaccine still got the flu while 138 of 4301 (3.2%) study participants who received the old vaccine still got the flu, which revealed a miniscule Absolute Risk Reduction of 1% (3.2% - 2.2% = 1%).  

But what was reported in the article was a Relative Risk Reduction of 40%, which was calculated by dividing 2.2% by 3.2% (60%). According to the formula for calculating RRR, subtracting the 60% from 100% resulted in a RRR of 40%, which sounded much better for a vaccine whose ARR was 1%. This manipulation appeared to be an attempt to over-state the benefits of the new vaccine.   Significantly, all the authors of the article – listed immediately below – also had serious financial conflicts of interest with the for-profit vaccine industry. Indeed, the three major authors were major shareholders and employees of Protein Sciences.  

Here are the financial conflicts of interest of the article’s authors: “Drs. Dunkle, Izikson, and Cox report being employed by and holding stock in Protein Sciences; Dr. Patriarca, receiving consulting fees from Altimmune, FluGen, Georgia Institute of Technology, Medicago, VaxInnate, Vaxart, Vivaldi Biosciences, Moderna Therapeutics, Novavax, Seqirus, and Visterra; and Dr. Goldenthal, receiving consulting fees from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  

It is interesting to note that Protein Sciences was in the process of being acquired by the multinational Big Vaccine giant Sanofi for $750 million as the NEJM article was being published.    

Merck’s Fosamax Fraud: A Classic Example of Big Pharma’s Deceptive Use of the Relative Risk Reduction statistic  

Big Pharma and Big Vaccine corporations, sociopathic entities that they are, always use RRR figures when they want to make a new drug or vaccine sound far more effective than it actually is. One of the most blatant examples of this common subterfuge is Merck’s Fosamax Fraud that I was alerted to many years ago and then finally got around to writing about years later. My latest version of the story is at: http://vaccineimpact.com/2018/mercks-fosamax-fraud-demonstrates-how-big-pharma-and-cdc-spin-statistics-to-sell-ineffective-vaccines-and-drugs/  

In that article I revealed how the Relative Risk Reduction statistic allowed Merck to fool everybody – especially us physicians and our female patients - by falsely claiming that their block-buster “osteoporosis prevention” drug Fosamax was “50% effective” in reducing bone fractures.  

That deceptive 50% figure led everybody to believe that half of female patients taking the drug for the rest of their lives would be somehow protected from experiencing bone fractures.  

However, for observant physicians who actually studied the raw data in the FDA applications for marketing approval or the medical journal articles about Fosamax, it was clear that patients who took the drug for at least 4 years could only achieve a miniscule 1-2% of Absolute Risk Reduction in fracture incidence.  

If the more accurate 1-2% AAR figure had been used in the marketing campaigns – rather than the 50% RRR figure – Fosamax would have failed as the useless – and dangerous - product that it was, right along with the closely related bone densitometry industry.  

In reality the 1-2% AAR is actually represents a negative number when the high costs of the drug and the drug’s unadvertised and very serious risks are considered - such as the incurable, disastrous, iatrogenic, Fosamax-induced osteonecrosis of the jaw.  

Just another example of cunning propaganda from a corrupted pharmaceutical corporation.

More on the Deception of the Vaccine Efficacy Relative Risk Reduction Statistic   In 2018, while the CDC was heavily promoting the mercury-containing flu vaccine for everybody (including pregnant women and babies!), some flu vaccines were found to be ineffective for many of those patients that received them. This is shown in the Table below.   Note that the table of Vaccine Efficacy numbers indicate that there was quite small relative risk benefit and minimal absolute risk benefit from flu vaccination programs in 2018. Indeed, some studied treatment groups came close to having negative benefits (meaning that some of the vaccinated groups were sicker than the unvaccinated were), especially when one considers the fact there are inevitable long-term and delayed adverse effects from any vaccine, especially vaccines that contain mercury or aluminum.  


CDC Vaccine Efficacy chart for Various Age Ranges (ranging from the relatively immuno-incompetence of most infants and the immuno-senescence of most elderly patients)

VE = 49% for 6 months – 8 years of age

VE = 6% for 9 - 17 years of age

VE = 25% for 18 – 49 years of age

VE = 12% for 50 – 64 years of age

VE = 12% for >65 years of age    


Pertinent Quotes About Seasonal Flu Vaccines (More quotes about “vaccine efficacy” are posted at: http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2)  

“The CDC falsely claims that 36,000 people die from the flu every year in the US, but actually, it’s closer to 20. However, we can’t admit that, because if we did, we’d be exposing the medical industry’s gigantic psy-op. The whole campaign to scare people into getting annual flu shots has about the same effect as advising people to carry iron umbrellas, in case toasters fall out of upper-story windows.” -- Jon Rappaport, investigative journalist   “[According to CDC statistics], ‘influenza and pneumonia’ took 62,034 lives in 2001 - 61,777 of which were attributable to pneumonia and 257 to flu, and in only 18 cases was the flu virus positively identified.” – Dr Peter Doshi, from in his 2005 BMJ report, titled, “Are US flu death figures more PR than science?” (BMJ 2005; 331:1412)  

“A study by the world-renowned clinical immunologist Dr H. Hugh Fudenberg found that adults vaccinated yearly for five years in a row with the flu vaccine had a 10-fold increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. He attributed this to the mercury in the vaccine. Interestingly, both mercury and aluminum have been shown to activate microglia and increase excitotoxicity in the brain.” -- Russell Blaylock, MD  

“We already know that the aluminum content of brain tissue in late-onset or sporadic Alzheimer’s disease is significantly higher than what is found in age-matched controls. So, individuals who develop Alzheimer’s disease in their late sixties and older also accumulate more aluminum in their brain tissue than individuals of the same age without the disease. Even higher levels of aluminum have been found in the brains of individuals, diagnosed with an early-onset form of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease, who have experienced an unusually high exposure to aluminum through the environment (e.g. Camelford) or through their workplace. This means that Alzheimer’s disease has a much earlier age of onset, for example, fifties or early sixties, in individuals who have been exposed to unusually high levels of aluminum in their everyday lives.” – Christopher Exley, PhD  

“In the field of chemical toxicology it is universally recognized that combinations of toxins may bring exponential increases of toxicity; ie, a combination of two chemicals may bring a 10-fold increase in toxicity, three chemicals 100-fold increases. This same principle almost certainly applies to the immunosuppressive effects of viral vaccines when administered in combination, as with the MMR vaccine, among which the measles vaccine is (known to be) exceptionally immunosuppressive.” – Harold Buttram, MD  

“The most lucrative areas of medicine are the most corrupted by financial (and academic) conflicts of interest. So-called ‘authoritative’ sources of medical information are thoroughly corrupted not only by pharmaceutical industry manipulation but also by government officials and financially conflicted academic gatekeepers of medical science, ’expert’ panels, medical journal editors and the largely corrupted vaccine information base.” – Vera Sharav, MD  

“For a long time no one considered the effect of repeated vaccinations on the brain. This was based on a mistaken conclusion that the brain was protected from immune activation by its special protective gateway called the blood-brain barrier. More recent studies have shown that immune cells can enter the brain directly, and more importantly, the brain’s own special immune system can be activated by vaccination.” – Russell Blaylock, MD


Influenza-like Illnesses (ILI) and Influenza are NOT the Same   Complicating the assessment of flu vaccine’s effectiveness, ineffectiveness or even harmful effects is the fact that “Over 200 viruses can cause Influenza-like Illnesses (ILIs) that can produce the same symptoms (fever, headache, aches, pains, cough, and runny nose) as influenza. Doctors cannot distinguish between them without laboratory tests because both persist for days and rarely cause serious illness or death” – From the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018  

ILIs comprise 80% of what most people regard as vaccine-preventable influenza. What the CDC, Big Medicine and the mainstream media call “the flu” is only influenza 20% of the time.   Importantly, ILIs are also NOT vaccine preventable (although they may be caused by vaccines).   And Then There are MLIs (Measles-like Illnesses)  

Whenever mini-epidemics (aka “outbreaks”) of any contagious viral illness occur, the CDC, Big Pharma, our legislators and the mainstream media are there constantly stirring up irrational public outrage in order to promote more over-vaccination programs for themselves.   Good examples include the occasional “mini-measles” outbreaks at Disneyland and Queens, NY. What wasn’t reported is the fact that a substantial number of the victims had been fully vaccinated.  

These tiny clusters of measles or measles-like infections (MLI) cases (affecting 0.000377139 % of the population of the US [1,234 alleged measles cases divided by 327,000,000] or 0.014310564% of the population of New York City) actually illustrate the weaknesses of relying on the partial, temporary protection from MMR vaccine programs in the flawed attempt to eradicate certain viral illnesses. Both true measles and MLIs are treated by health authorities that typically falsely assume are “vaccine-preventable” illnesses, rather than vaccine-induced rashes. One of the published adverse effects of the MMR is a “measles-like rash” that are indistinguishable from genuine measles.  

Specific viral diagnostic tests are typically not performed by authorities before they make the knee-jerk proclamations that will benefit the businesses of the healthcare community and their corporate partners. And the easily freaked-out media go along with the charade by over-reporting the not yet established theory about what is happening.  

It would be remiss of me to not report on the many iatrogenic illnesses that can result from any prescription drug or vaccines especially when they are used in untested-for-safety combinations of prescription drugs or similarly untested-for-safety cocktails of vaccines that that are ROUTINELY injected into small immune-deficient infants.   There are many potentially toxic ingredients in all human and veterinarian vaccines that are known to cause influenza-like symptoms. The list of toxins include mercury, aluminum, live viruses, formaldehyde, Polysorbate 80, impurities, etc.  

Here is a list of some of the published adverse effects of typical FDA- and CDC-approved influenza vaccines: Headache, fever, nausea, muscle aches, weakness, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, dizzyness, hoarseness, wheezing, hives and soreness, redness, and/or swelling at the injection site.”  

How the Viruses Chosen for Inclusion in Next Fall’s Flu Shots?   One of the most important stories that has been kept from us naïve consumers of vaccines is how the ingredients of America’s annual flu vaccine are chosen. The process involves considerable guesswork.  

A committee of the CDC in America (and the WHO in Europe) meets every early spring no matter what happened in the Southern Hemisphere during the previous 6 months. The committees meet to look at the strains of influenza that were most commonly identified in that hemisphere’s “flu season” the year before (Australia’s flu season occurs during the northern hemisphere’s summer season).  

The often totally wrong theory is that the flu viruses that infected some Australians or Asian Indians 6 months earlier will be the same ones that Americans might theoretically be facing in the fall and winter months.  

Then samples of the 3 or 4 live influenza viruses most likely to be common (out of the over 100 influenza viruses that are known to exist in humans, pigs or birds) will be isolated and mass-produced in Big Vaccine’s chicken egg labs until enough viruses are obtained to be made into vaccines and delivered to those parts of the world that can afford to pay for the shots.  

Each batch of viral particles are then killed with formaldehyde, some are mixed with adjuvants, all are mixed with preservatives in the multiple-dose vials and then - with finger’s crossed – refrigerated and distributed to paying customers around the world. Of course, there is never any assurance to potential vaccine recipients that the chosen three or four viruses will match what turns up in the northern hemisphere. Indeed, the odds are against any match in any given year.   So I suppose the lesson to be learned for any given patient, pregnant woman or parent of a vulnerable infant or child is to educate oneself about the potential risks and actual benefits of any vaccine by studying the information to follow before going to the clinic (or pharmacy!!) and submitting to the procedure.  

Here are more important quotes that might help people understand the propaganda power that is regularly exercised by Big Pharma and Big Medicine:   The Semmelweis Reflex: “The reflex-like tendency to reject new evidence or new knowledge because it contradicts established norms, beliefs or paradigms.” -- https://www.revolvy.com/topic/Semmelweis%20reflex&item_type=topic  

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" -- Upton Sinclair   “If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been “taken”. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” -- Carl Sagan



   Dr. Kohls is a retired family physician from Duluth, MN, USA. Since his retirement from his holistic mental health practice (in 2008), he has been writing his weekly Duty to Warn column for the Duluth Reader, northeast Minnesota’s alternative newsweekly magazine.

His columns, which are re-published around the world, deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, Big Pharma’s over-drugging and Big Vaccine’s over-vaccination agendas, as well as other movements that threaten human health, the environment, democracy, civility and the sustainability of all life on earth. Many of his columns have been archived at a number of websites, including http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2; http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/gary-g-kohls; http://freepress.org/geographic-scope/national; and https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles.  



NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily

represent or reflect the views of Reader Weekly.”