Flu shot didn't work

Remember the flu shot frenzy?

Just a few months ago, the constant drumbeat from the media, government officials, and even mainstream doctors was how everyone should get a flu shot -- especially seniors.

Well, for all that talk, it turns out this year's flu shot effectiveness rate was at an all-time low, with CDC data showing it had a protection rate of just 9 percent among seniors.

I know that sounds low -- but many people don't understand just how low that flu shot effectiveness rate really is, because it doesn't mean the shot protected 9 percent of seniors.

That would be a miracle compared to the real rate of protection.

The flu hospitalization rate among seniors this year was 0.116 percent -- and no, I didn't misplace the decimal point.

That's all it was, and that's actually a relatively high number (which says a lot about the annual flu hype).

The flu shot effectiveness rate of 9 percent comes out of that -- which means seniors who got the shot would have lowered their risk of hospitalization from that 0.116 percent all the way down to 0.106 percent.

Yes, that's it -- the "protection" offered by the shot is an absolute decrease in hospitalization risk of a hundredth of a percent at best.

And it's not just seniors who didn't benefit from the shot. The overall "protection" rate was 59 percent -- which might sound good, especially compared to that 9 percent flu shot effectiveness rate in seniors.

But once again, the true numbers tell another story.

Just 3.2 percent of Americans visited doctors with flu like symptoms, according to a recent CDC report. Going by the stats, more than 80 percent of them won't actually have the flu.

But let's assume for a moment all 3.2 percent did have the flu. If they had gotten the shot, their risk would have fallen down to 1.5 percent -- an absolute difference of just 1.7 percent.

None of this means the flu isn't a real disease that can't make you sick or even kill you. What it really means is that if you want to protect yourself from the flu, don't even waste your time with the flu shot.

I certainly don't -- and while I'm exposed to the flu virus all the time at work, I rarely get sick.

What's my secret? A turbo-charged immune system -- and you can get one, too.

It's inexpensive... completely safe... and a lot more effective than a flu shot. Health Revelations readers got all the details in the December issue. If you're not a subscriber, it's not too late. Sign up today and get complete access to all my back issues online.