A Truth-telling Statistic that Big Pharma and the CDC Never Reports to us Physicians, Nurses, Clinics or our Patients




The Number Needed to Vaccinate (NNV)the number of patients will need to be vaccinated for one patient to benefit. The larger the number, the worse the efficacy of the vaccine (or drug). A few examples are listed below:



Examples of Important Numbers Needed to Vaccinate (NNV)


Many of these examples come from the literature, including some from this source: Statistics such as these can be expected to vary according to location, age, chronic illnesses, nutritional status, etc. Googling Number Needed to Vaccinate is useful, although the CDC references should be viewed with a large amount of skepticism, because the close financial and collegial relationships between the CDC and Big Pharma create huge conflicts of interest.


NNV for Flu Vaccine to Prevent One Hospitalization (< 4 years of age) is 1852


Quantifying benefits and risks of vaccinating Australian children aged six months to four years with trivalent inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine in 2010

H. Kelly, et al

1852 children would have to be vaccinated to avoid one hospitalizationdue to any strain of circulating influenza (2009).

The authors also estimated that, for every hospital admission due to influenza prevented, vaccination with Fluvax or Fluvax Junior in 2010 may have caused two to three hospital admissions due to febrile convulsions.



NNV for Infant Flu Vaccine to Prevent One Hospitalization is >4,255


Pediatrics, 120 (3) (2007), pp. 467-472

Childhood influenza: NNV (number needed to vaccinate) to prevent 1 hospitalization or outpatient visit

E.N. Lewis, et al

4255 to 6897children ages 24–59 months of age would have to be vaccinated for influenza to prevent one hospitalization.



NNV for Shingles/Herpes Zoster vaccination for over 70 years is 231


UCLA Dept. of Med. 2007 Feb 20.

Live attenuated varicella-zoster vaccine: Is it worth it?                                                                                                                

Skootsky S.〉


175 adults over 60 years of agewould have to be vaccinated to prevent 1 episode of Herpes Zoster

231 adults 70 years of age or older would have to be vaccinated to prevent 1 episode of Herpes Zoster.



NNV for Pneumococcal vaccine in Older Adults is 5,206


BMC Infectious Diseases2008:53

The impact and effectiveness of (23 valent) pneumococcal vaccination in Scotland for those aged 65 and over during winter 2003/2004

·       John D Mooney, et al

The NNV for Pneumovax-23 for preventing a single case invasive pneumococcal disease for adults >age 65 varied between 4388 - 7122

BUT, the calculated VE (vaccine efficacy rate) for the Pneumovax-23 was advertised as 61.7%, dramatically exposing the uselessness of the fraudulent VE statistic, especially when it is compared to the more meaningful NNV.


The NNV to Prevent 1 case/year of invasive pneumococcal disease (involving Pneumonia, Meningitis and/or Septicemia), according to the CDC’s ACIP panel of vaccine experts, is 26,000




The NNV to prevent 1 case of pneumococcal pneumonia/per year ranges from 2,600 to 14,000



NNV for Ireland’s Tuberculosis Vaccine is 646


Eur Respir J, 10 (3) (1997), pp. 619-623

Neonatal BCG vaccination in Ireland: evidence of its efficacy in the prevention of childhood tuberculosis

P. Kelly, et al -

646 childrenhad to be vaccinated with Ireland’s neonatal Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine to prevent one case of tuberculosis in 1986 (the NNV dropped to 551 in 1991)




NNV for Gardasil in sexually inactive 12-year-old girls is 9,080


CMAJ. 2007 Aug 28; 177(5): 464–468.

Estimating the Number Needed to Vaccinate to Prevent Diseases and Death Related to Human Papillomavirus Infection

Marc Brisson, PhD, et al

324 sexually-inactive 12 year-old girlswould have to be vaccinated with Gardasil in order to prevent one case of cervical cancer if lifelong protection is obtained from the vaccine, there is an efficacy rate of 95% and no waning of immunity occurs (all three assumptions are absurd)

9,080 sexually inactive 12 year-old girlswould have to be vaccinated with Gardasil in order to prevent one case of cervical cancer - if the efficacy rate is 95%,if lifelong protection from the vaccine is obtained and the immunologic protection wanes at only 3% per year (all three assumptions are still likely unobtainable)

Therefore, an NNV of 9,080 is likely to be an extremely over-optimistic estimate.




The NNV for Bexsero(group B meningococcal vaccine) is >33,000


BMC Infect Dis, 12 (1) (2012), p. 202

Epidemiology of serogroup B invasive meningococcal disease in Ontario, Canada, 2000 to 2010

V Dang, et al


NNV to Prevent one Healthy Adult from Experiencing Influenza = 71

Cochrane Review Feb 1, 2018

Vaccines to prevent influenza in healthy adults Demicheli V, et al

71 healthy adults need to be vaccinated to prevent one of them experiencing influenza,




N Engl J Med  2003 Oct 2;349(14):1341-8.

A trial of a 9-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in children with and those without HIV infection. Klugman, KP, et al

In the South African trial conducted in the urban township of Soweto, vaccination of nearly 20,000 infants resulted in only 31 fewer cases of invasive pneumococcal disease in the overall population and in only 13 fewer cases among HIV-negative children, although the VE against invasive pneumococcal disease



The following NNTs are for low risk patients who took statins for 5 years (and whose only risk was elevated cholesterol but no documented coronary artery disease) compared to patients of similar low risk that did not take statins:

The NNT for statin drugs to prevent one heart attack: - 104

The NNT for statin drugs to prevent one stroke: 154

The NNH (number needed to harm) for statins to cause rhabdomyonecrosis of the heart = 10