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Ineffective flu vaccines on navy ship

Nov 19, 2014

It is being reported that the navy minesweeper, the USS Arden, had a problem with an outbreak of the flu earlier this year.

Did the problem occur because the crew failed to be “immunized”?? No. In fact, all navy personnel are required to get vaccinated.


Surprisingly, the CDC admits this is a common occurrence:

The current U.S. Department of Defense influenza vaccination policy mandates that all uniformed personnel receive seasonal influenza vaccination, unless medically exempt, or face punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The policy specifically directs all Navy operational units to be at least 90% vaccinated. However, despite vaccination measures, influenza outbreaks can still occur in highly vaccinated military populations.

In the references section of the study, they list two other studies that showed the exact same thing happened in the past, in 2001 and 2009:

  • Earhart KE, Beadle C, Miller LK, et al. Outbreak of influenza in highly vaccinated crew of U.S. Navy ship. Emerg Infect Dis 2001;7:463–5.
  • Cosby MT, Pimental G, Nevin RL, et al. Outbreak of H3N2 Influenza at a US Military Base in Djibouti during the H1N1 pandemic of 2009. PLoS One 2013;7:e82089.

Comment: I wonder if flu vaccines come with a money-back guarantee. If not, perhaps the navy should consider saving tax-payer money.

It makes me wonder how many other people think they have been "immunized" by the vaccine.

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Category: Health
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones