Before you go get a flu shot, please read this.

The pros and cons of getting the flu shot have been severely distorted.

The Cochrane Collaboration is considered the “gold standard” in evidence-based medicine. Cochrane researchers analyze the published studies on health and medicine topics and produce sound, objective reports that practicing doctors such as myself use to guide our decision-making.

In 2010, the Cochrane group analyzed “all trials which compared vaccinated people to unvaccinated people.” And this is what they concluded:

“Vaccine use did not affect the number of people hospitalised or working days lost but caused one case of Guillian-Barré syndrome (a major neurological condition leading to paralysis) for every one million vaccinations.”

In case you missed it, let me repeat that. “Vaccine use did not affect the number of people hospitalized or working days lost.”

On the other hand, while flu vaccines are useless at keeping people from getting the flu, vaccines did cause at least one case of paralysis, and presumably more.

The report went on to say that “fifteen of the 36 trials were funded by vaccine companies and four had no funding declaration. Our results may be an optimistic estimate because company-sponsored influenza vaccines trials tend to produce results favorable to their products.

As if that wasn’t enough, the authors added “reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies.

Now, if anyone, after reading these conclusions by some of the brightest minds in medicine, wants to get their flu shot, be my guest.

But if you care about your health, listen to the research, not the people who are going to make money by scaring you into getting a demonstrably useless, and proven harmful flu vaccine.

And do your friends a favor. Pass this information along.

Dr. Avery Jenkins is a chiropractic physician specializing in the treatment of people with chronic disorders. He can be reached at alj@docaltmed.com or by calling 860-567-5727.