Claim: flu vaccine increases risk of non-influenza infection

vaccine papers

New Member
Placebo controlled study here shows that flu vaccine increases risk of non-influenza infection. In addition to risk of autoimmune diseases, flu vaccine causes illnesses. There are more studies showing the same thing. [...]



  • Increased-risk-of noninfluenza respiratory virus infections.pdf
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Senior Member.
115 children total in study (both placebos and tivs)

from your paper:
artefactual. adjective. (1) Referring to something produced by human hands. (2) Referring to an inaccurate finding, deviation or alteration of electronic readout or morphology due to some form of systemic error. Segen's Medical Dictionary.
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Senior Member.

This is a separate study referencing the one above, using an immensely larger sample size (rather than individual cases, it's from anonymized records databases), showing that even without controlling for vaccination, there is still an interference effect between influenza infection and other respiratory infections - many viral respiratory infections reduce the chances of getting one another, which works at the population level into a cycle where flu epidemics suppress other infections.

It doesn't hold true for bacterial infections, however, whose trends seem to ignore other infections, and several viral infections (rhinovirus, norovirus, rotavirus, enterovirus) also merrily had overlapping outbreaks with the diseases that did interfere.
A third study, also referencing the one in the OP, showing an general antiviral effect in the body after an influenza infection, not specific to respiratory infections as the previous study was limited to. The discussion also suggests this may be a general effect of viral infections and not necessarily specific to influenza, but that was the only infection studied.

The long and short of it is that other research suggests you would get the same chart as above if you controlled for respiratory infection instead of for vaccination.


New Member
First of all, if you're going to talk science, talk science. Not 'scam', not how 'dumb' something is - that sets you up immediately as biased and not someone anyone is willing to engage in real debate with. But, since you opened the door, and I'm a generous and helpful soul, lets dig in a little.

This brief was published looks like in 2012.

Disclaimer. I am not a scientist, I am not a doctor, I have no specific skills in immunology. However, the tenet of the brief seems to say that there's an increased risk in NON INFLUENCE related virus infections. That means people may be at a higher risk of getting other non-flu illnesses if the influenza vaccine is administered. The study even says "Being protected against influenza, TIV recipients may lack temporary non-specific immunity that protected against other respiratory viruses."

So why you jump to the conclusion that the influenza vaccine is a scam is puzzling. In addition "In addition to risk of autoimmune diseases, flu vaccine causes illnesses. " - You're making the standard 'causation vs correlation' fallacy. People may be getting sicker. Does the vaccine cause that? Unlikely, and there's no causative link.

I'd love to see more information, and less hyperbole and handwaving.


Staff member
As I understand it, you are less likely to get other respiratory infections if you get the flu, as shown in the study @Hevach quoted. So it should not be surprising that people who are vaccinated against flu are more likely to get other respiratory viruses, because they are less likely to get the flu.

Seeing as flu is the more serious illness, and flu prevalence is greatly reduced by the vaccine, how do you conclude that the vaccine is "dumb" or a "scam".

Additionally, you don't seem to be taking the relative severity of the diseases into account. "Noninfluenza respiratory virus" is basically medical speak for the common cold. (Yes there are other types, but rhinovirus is the most common one.)

Anyone who has had proper influenza will agree that they would accept a higher risk of getting a cold in return for a lower risk of getting flu any day of the week!

Dan Wilson

Senior Member.
Placebo controlled study here shows that flu vaccine increases risk of non-influenza infection. In addition to risk of autoimmune diseases, flu vaccine causes illnesses. There are more studies showing the same thing.

I think you're misinterpreting both the talk-home messages and significance of this report. Some excerpts you might want to re-read (bolding is my own):

So basically, their results are not conclusive yet they do not contradict the seasonal flu shot's efficacy and can be explained by things like bias and known uninteresting mechanisms. As Hevach has pointed out, other studies support the idea that the results they see in this report are likely due to general viral interference.

But let's say your interpretation of their results is correct. Let's say that if you get the seasonal flu vaccine you definitely increase your risk of other upper respiratory viruses. Influenza and influenza related pneumonia kills about 55,000 (this is thought to be an underestimate) people every year in the U.S. alone and has a unique potential to mutate into a virus that could kill millions in a single season is we are not careful and vigilant. On the other hand, other respiratory viruses that cause common cold symptoms rarely cause death and do not have the potential to become pandemic threats to humanity. Seasonal vaccination minimizes risk of both death and the birth of new deadly flu strains. If you honestly had to choose one risk over the other (which you probably don't), which risk makes more sense?


Staff member
Show me in the paper where this is said. Please. And see above posts.
This seems to be the closest it gets to saying that, as one possibility:
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