A small protective effect of flu vaccine on the incidence of heart attacks and strokes has been reported, and a similar preventive action has been suggested for the most common pneumonia vaccine. However, Dr. Hung Fu Tseng of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California managed care group looked at 84,000 men who had been vaccinated and reported no protective effect. Their conclusion that there was no protection, however, appeared to be politically motivated. Their findings actually showed a 3-4 times higher incidence of strokes and heart attacks in patients that received this common vaccine. That risk should have hit the headlines, and instead was swept under the rug. Pneumococcal vaccine is still recommended for everyone over the age of 65, children and people who have come down with at least one episode of pneumonia. We need to take a long, hard look at what is going on, after this important study.
See Family Practice News (click here), June 1, 2010, p. 17.