In a February 9, 2020, tweet,30 Gøtzsche wrote: “Cochrane corruption. A Cochrane review did not find that flu shots reduce deaths … ‘After invitation from Cochrane,’ a financially conflicted person ‘re-arranged’ the data and vaccines reduced deaths. They don’t …”
Indeed, in past years, Cochrane has repeatedly found flu vaccinations are ineffective and have no appreciable effect on influenza-related hospitalizations and mortality. For example:
• A 2006 systematic review31 of 51 studies analyzing the effectiveness of the shot in children found a 33% effectiveness in children using live vaccines and 36% using inactivated vaccines.
• A 2010 Cochrane review32 of 50 influenza studies found “In the relatively uncommon circumstance of vaccine matching the viral circulating strain and high circulation, 4% of unvaccinated people versus 1% of vaccinated people developed influenza symptoms … Vaccination had a modest effect on time off work and had no effect on hospital admissions …”
• A 2010 Cochrane review33 of 75 studies analyzing the effectiveness of preventing influenza in the elderly found the studies were generally of low quality and there was a “likely presence of biases” making any firm conclusions possibly misleading.
• In a 2018 Cochrane review34 of 41 clinical trials on live and inactivated flu vaccines in children they found for live attenuated vaccines, “Seven children would need to be vaccinated to prevent one case of influenza, and 20 children would need to be vaccinated to prevent one child experiencing an ILI [influenza-like illness] …”