Johns Hopkins Scientist Questions Flu Vaccine – Authorship Confirmed!
Summary of eRumor:
Reports have gone viral that a scientist from Johns Hopkins University said flu vaccines aren’t as effective as once thought and that studies used to promote widespread vaccines are often low quality.
It’s true that a former post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University questioned the safety and effectiveness of flu vaccines in a scholarly article, but that view isn’t widely accepted in the epidemiology field.
Peter Doshi was a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine when he published an article in the British Medical Journal in May 2013 titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccine by Marketing Disease.” Doshi argued in the article that flu vaccines could be less beneficial and less safe than once believed, and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has overstated the threat of influenza. After his fellowship ended, Doshi became an assistant professor of pharmaceutical health services at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, according to the school’s website.
Doshi’s article gained widespread attention when the website Newsmax Health reported on it in May 2013.
Still, Doshi’s views are not widely accepted in the epidemiology field. In fact, Johns Hopkins University requires that its medical staff receive flu vaccinations each fall. The school’s website says the policy is for “the safety of our patients, trainees, staff, faculty, physicians and students.”
Public health officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have amped up their push for people to get vaccinated against the flu, saying that virtually everyone should get an annual flu shot.
But in a new article published in the British Medical Journal, Peter Doshi, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in comparative effectiveness research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, questions whether flu vaccinations really offer the benefits the CDC claims.
Recent outbreaks of SARS-like coronaviruses and other flu-like diseasesmay have upped the ante on conditions that could become epidemic or even pandemic, but Dr. Doshi argues that flu shots may actually be less safe and less advantageous than we think. “Consider vaccines versus other methods of prevention such as hand washing,” he said. “CDC claims vaccines are the best protection against flu. Where are the studies that show superiority of vaccination against other methods of preventing flu?”