Vaccine truther Bill Maher claims he was right about flu shots

Several years ago, comedian Bill Maher claimed that only “idiots” get the swine flu vaccine:

When Maher elaborated on his views during his HBO show, he made a number of statements that clearly are not supported by scientific evidence:

Mr. Maher questioned letting someone stick “a disease into your arm,” wrongly implying that the flu shot contains a live virus. The flu shot is a killed vaccine. (Only the nasal mist vaccine contains a weakened live virus.)

He said he did not believe that healthy people were vulnerable to dying from the new H1N1 virus. This contradicts statements from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that young, healthy people from ages 5 to 24 appear particularly vulnerable to this flu. About a third of the 76 children who have died of H1N1 since April have had no underlying health problems.

Mr. Maher also discouraged pregnant women from getting vaccinated. Studies show pregnant women are among the most vulnerable to serious complications from H1N1.

He has also said flu shots increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease — a false assertion that has been disseminated on the Internet by quacks.

This year’s influenza vaccine has performed poorly in elderly patients. According to Maher, this proves that his earlier anti-flu shot statements were correct.

However, Maher neglects to point out that the vaccine was somewhat efficacious in younger patients: “Overall, the vaccine’s effectiveness is a moderate 56 percent, which means those who receive a shot have a 56 percent lower chance of winding up at the doctor with the flu.”

It’s no wonder vaccine. But people (particularly non-elderly people) aren’t idiots if they think a 56 percent reduction in risk is better than nothing.


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  • lissa

    “sticking a disease into your arm” is better than getting brain diseased from watching Maher’s show…

    • AaronHarrisinAlaska

      It’s called Tube Rot.

  • copperpeony’s what I was told AFTER the fact: If you have an auto-immune deficiency disease, you should not get a flu shot. No one told me prior to me getting my first and only shot 4 yrs ago. I then came down with polymyalgia rhuematica and it affected my heart. People should do more research concerning their bodies and flu shots. I didn’t and to this day have had many complications from this flu shot.

    • AaronHarrisinAlaska

      Sorry to read that. Most people don’t even know they might have complications until after the fact.

      • copperpeony

        Yes and thank you. I now research everything. Don’t believe everything the CDC tells you.

        • DrSamHerman

          Did you get the vaccination of your own choice or did your physician prescribe it for you?
          CDC’s recommendations for those who should not receive the flu vaccination generally include those patients who have autoimmune disorders that are diagnosed BEFORE prescribing or administering the vaccination.

        • Conservativesniper

          Well, they are part of the federal government. Make your own decision and be prepared for the consequences. Otherwise, you’re a hypocrite.

    • deborah mooney

      maybe if you have aides but as a diabetic, I would not take the risk in getting the flu and then maybe pneumonia is not one I was willing to take

    • SpinMeNot

      I have seriously low white blood cell count and COPD, I get the shot every year. I have not had the flu since I began getting the shot 15 or so years ago. I get the pneumo shot as well if the doctor begins to see a large number of pneumonia cases.

      They do work. I am sorry to hear about your PMR complications, but the NIH ( would indicate that your experience is relatively rare. Your advice is sound regardless

  • Michelle

    I just tried finding info on Maher’s medical education and came up empty-handed. I found that he holds a B.A. in English and History, but nothing in the medical field. Huh. Interesting. No medical education whatsoever and yet, fancies himself an expert on medical matters. I know this much, I’ve been getting the flu shot for over a decade with the exception of two missed years. Those were the two years I got the flu and was hospitalized. Each year I’ve received the vaccine – no flu. Imagine that. If it’s OK with Dr. Maher – my decision to get a flu shot will be based on my own personal experience.

    • kilthan

      In all fairness, anecdotal evidence doesn’t mean much, i’m 30, have never had a flu shot, and have never had the flu.

      That being said, Maher’s is an idiot of the highest order.

      • Michelle

        And in all fairness, I never had the flu until I was 34 yrs old. That would be because up until then, I lived in Los Angeles and used my car to commute to/from work, but at 34 I moved to Boston (where I lived for 10 yrs.) and used the subway to commute. On the subway you are in extremely close contact with numerous people and a person’s chances of catching the flu, a cold or any communicable disease/illness are far, far higher in such a situation. I had the flu twice and countless colds while living in Boston and using the subway. I’m back in CA now, use my own car to commute, not exposed to large groups of people on a subway train and haven’t been sick one day since I returned over a year ago.

  • Maxx

    I didn’t know black hookers gave out medical degrees.

    • Long_Knives_Drawn

      go figure!!, let your mom know. shes been doing it all wrong!

      • Maxx

        Oh, how I wish I could still speak with her and share your adorable 90’s-era “yo mama” retort.

        Unfortunately, she lost her battle with breast cancer at age 56.

        • GaryTheBrave

          You have my sympathy and empathy. Alcoholism took my mom at age 46.

    • Guest

      Maxx, Maxx, Maxx, Did you have a bad day? Was the Klan on vacation or did you forget what you were told by

      THE MASTER?.
      He said you should keep quiet about the plans and stop bringing attention to our cause. Please stop.

      • Maxx

        It’s late February and where I’m at, 79-degrees, warm sun, cool ocean breezes. Life is good.

        Hell, not even two aging malcontent liberals could have spoiled today.

  • Andre Richards

    Really wish entertainers of all political stripes would remember what they’re good at and stick to that.

    • kilthan

      But, the only thing Maher is good at is opening his mouth and proving he’s an idiot.

  • DrSamHerman

    It is indeed hypocrtical that Bill Maher, the leftist extraordinaire who promoted Obamacare like it was his favorite meth substitute, ignores the US Preventative Services Task Force (a centerpiece of the Obamacare garbage) finding about flu vaccinations.
    By the way, it is considered medical malpractice to advocate AGAINST vaccinations on the USPSTF list unless contraindicated for some reason.

  • bidentime

    Dr. Pig Maher.

  • ricsands

    I’m glad we have dependable opinions like his for me to take to our Employee Health director next time they push flu shots at the hospital I work at. He does carry such credibility.

  • Richard Jefferies

    I hate Bill Maher with a passion, but you can call me a flu-shot truth-er too. I don’t get them and I haven’t gotten them for 15 years. I have gotten sick a few times but I have enough sick days to stay home and not effect my co-workers and I’d rather let my own body fight it off. People have become so dependent on their annual vaccinations. I watch em line up like sheeple to get them. We are such a freaking pansy culture. That doesn’t mean I oppose real vaccinations, but there is just something I don’t like about this flu-shot ritual every year.

    • Conservativesniper

      It’s called political correctness, submit or else.

    • billy86

      Ever visit a Level 3 Hot Zone Lab, Richard? …Welcome to the sheeple line.

  • Guest

    I personally know of a 16-year-old with no health issues who died from the flu. Vaccinating may not have prevented her particular case, but vaccinating all the people around her may have prevented her from contracting it

  • Tom Devonshire

    I don’t care what anyone says about the flu shot. I got the flu shot one time and go the flu…that was 10 years ago. I have not had the flu shot since and have not had the flu since. Neither one of my kids (10/13) have ever had the flu shot and have never had the flu. I’ll take my chances with the body God gave me to fight off any crap that mother nature wants to throw at me.

  • Jim H

    I hate Bill, but I’m with him on this one, I never get the flu shot and never get the flu, however, I always use an old family trick during the colder months, I always keep a 1/2 onion on my kitchen table

  • Cruz2016!!!

    I know people who have gotten the flu shot and have been having bouts of dizzy spells since…why are people so quick to to get injected? I don’t ever remember healthy people having to get the flu shot before now…why is everyone pushing it?

  • Frank Balcer

    Maher just likes to keep his head buried in the septic tank.

  • Charles Sangston

    Vitamin D levels determine susceptability to Type A influenza infection (with symptoms).

    Who does not know this?.

  • Randy C. Lindsey

    Maher is a douche…all he does is run his milksop mouth. Anything he is for, I am against. Whatever he is against, I am for.

    • Conservativesniper

      I agree, he is Napoleon’s adjutant.

  • deborah mooney

    He sounds exactly like he looks.

  • billy86

    1918: a time when most people on Earth rarely traveled more than 3-4 miles from home. The 1918 flu pandemic killed almost twice as many people (50-100 million) as WWI. It killed more people in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. Today, thanks to international airports, the 1918 flu virus, or any virus, could be all over the world in 48 hours; the possible death toll could eventually be in the *billions*. And note: Flu virus is certainly NOT the nastiest bad boy out there! The Ebola virus, for example, explodes every cell it touches, effectively (and quickly) turning a human body into a pitiful, highly contagious, human-shaped sack of goo… pre-death.

    Flu comes every year, like night follows day. (Bless those people that work on it.) One day, that ‘Bad-assed Flu’ will come again, and, Adios, scaredy-cats!

    Gimme that flu vaccine, ASAP!

  • Proud2bfromtheUSA

    Wow something I agree with Bill Maher about. The flu vaccine is very bad for you because of the carrier the virus uses opens you up to a whole host of autoimmune diseases. Me and my daughters have refused all vaccines since the mid nineties. I had an allergic reaction to the flu vaccines back then and since I stopped taking it none of us has had the flu once. Bill, as much as I hate to admit it is right on this one. After the Bill Gates Taiwan pregnancy vaccine fiasco I suspect government of trying to kill/cull the populations with vaccinations at every turn. If my Dr. pushes a vaccine I know it is probably dangerous and adamantly refuse. My daughters have learned the mantra no thank you every time the go to the Dr. they practically demand that they take the Gardasil vaccine. My daughters are not sexually active. They tell the Dr. s this and are still hounded. My girls have had to tell the Dr. that he is scaring them and they no longer trust he has their best interest at heart by insisting they take a so called vaccine for something they are not likely to need. More people need to question why a Dr. want to push treatments on you instead of cures. and when they push a treatment that has known side effects when you are not likely to get the illness with out taking the treatment is absurd. What is even more ridiculous is that we take it without question. Look up the chemical Thimerosal. a major component in most vaccines. It is a mercury compound and causes problems with brain cells and has been linked to autism.


    FYI “56% effective” is relative effectiveness. If 100 people get the flu shot, 3 get the flu and 100 people don’t get the flu shot of an 5 get the flu…there’s the 60% effective number…Not very impressive, huh? Keep in mind the US is one of the only countries that believes mass flu vaccination is an effective method of flu control. Those in the US that look to the European health systems as something to should aspire to would be shocked to learn flu vaccine isn’t use much at all there.

  • Russ Tandy

    I don’t care for Maher but he has this one correct. Flu shots are bogus and dangerous. Look it up. Can you or your Doctor name one other “vaccine” that only lasts 6 months and is only 60% effective, if that? Many Doctors are having second thoughts. You should too.