September is the time for antivaccine fear mongering about the flu vaccine, this time with a hint of COVID-19 pseudoscience.
An antivaccine meme claiming that, because of viral interference, the flu vaccine increases the risk of coronavirus by 36%. It’s a lie based on a cherry-picked result of a negative study and confusing benign coronavirus with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
New York State Senator José Peralta died after a brief illness in November, and antivaxers blamed the flu vaccine. Later, it was learned that Sen. Peralta died of sepsis, leading to claims that the flu vaccine predisposed him to sepsis. Now the autopsy report is out, and we know why Sen Peralta was prone to sepsis or a sepsis-like syndrome. Hint: It had nothing to do with the flu vaccine.
Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic remedy sold by Boiron, consists of a gruel of duck liver and heart diluted away to nonexistence. Nevertheless, recently a California court recently affirmed a jury verdict in a consumer class action deceptive advertising case in favor of Boiron Inc. and Boiron USA. This is why laws, courts, and juries do not decide science. Unfortunately, they do decide science policy.
Barbara Loe Fisher, Joe Mercola, and other antivaxers frequently deny that the flu is dangerous and that all the promotion of flu vaccines every year is a plot by big pharma to make money based on fear. The CDC argues otherwise, reporting that influenza mortality last season was higher than iit’s been in decades. Roughly 80,000 people are estimated to have died last season from influenza or complications from the flu.