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New CDC Director Misstates Influenza Vaccination Effectiveness

Robert Redfield INSTITUTE OF HUMAN VIROLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

According to The Washington Post, the new CDC director reportedly told his new employees, “We have got to get the American public to understand that vaccination is important and needs to be fully utilized.” This was reportedly after he cited 130 child deaths from flu season, implying they all could have been saved by vaccination.

The reality is that a quarter of them were vaccinated. The majority of American children and adults were not vaccinated for the flu anyway. And those 130 children are almost certainly not representative of the overall population of children. But that doesn’t stop Redfield from misrepresenting flu vaccines like he did an experimental AIDS treatment a quarter-century ago. The difference there was that he at least provided data on most of the subjects who got the treatment. In the case of flu vaccines, he just implied 130 deaths could have all been prevented with vaccination without giving evidence that even one of those deaths could have been stopped.

Both the FDA and CDC chiefs have misstated the effectiveness or safety of vaccination. Yet both would not have been in their positions were it not for the president, who had claimed to have never gotten the flu or the flu shot.