CDC Inflates Flu Death Stats to Sell More Flu Vaccines

Lawrence Solomon of the Huffington Post in Canada has written a very insightful analysis of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) annual estimates of deaths due to influenza. The CDC claims that deaths due to the annual flu range from 3,000 to 49,000 deaths each year. As can be seen from the graphic above, which is a screen shot of selected text directly from the CDC's own website, the CDC claims they don't really know how many people die from the flu each year. The reason given as to why they make estimates is "it is important to convey the full burden of the seasonal flu to the public." What they would like you to believe, of course, is that the flu is dangerous and tens of thousands of people are dying from it. But the other way that statement could be read, is that the burden to the public is to purchase more flu vaccines, since they are manufactured ahead of time and stockpiled for the flu season. According to Lawrence Solomon, that is exactly what they are doing. They are inflating the numbers to encourage more flu vaccine sales. While the most common number cited by the media is 36,000 deaths a year, actual death certificates only list about 500 per year. And since a laboratory test is not usually taken to determine if it was actually the influenza virus, only 15-20 percent of those 500 recorded flu deaths were actually due to the flu, which means the real numbers are about 100 or less. But it would be very difficult to sell 145 million doses of the flu vaccine if the public knew less than 100 people died each year from the flu.