SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

March 4, 2013

Elderly no help w/flu vaccine


Flu vaccine little help for elderly

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The people hardest hit by flu are getting the least protection from the vaccine.

Infections have tapered off, but Ohioans continue to be sickened, and older people have been hospitalized at a rate more than triple of what was seen in the previous two flu seasons, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided an analysis this week of vaccine effectiveness so far this season. What they found was more evidence that the vaccine is far from ideal.

It has been woefully weak in Americans 65 or older, offering only 9 percent protection against influenza A, specifically the H3N2 strain, researchers reported in the CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.” It was 67 percent effective in protecting that group against influenza B infections, based on a study of 2,697 children and adults.

  • For people of all ages, this season’s vaccine has been about 56 percent effective at stopping flu.

H3N2 infections have been common this season, and the poor immune response in older people who received the vaccine has likely contributed to a high number of severe illnesses in that group, experts say.

Dr. John Weigand of Central Ohio Geriatrics in Granville said he has had more patients hospitalized for flu this year than in recent memory, and more of them are getting secondary infections — primarily pneumonia, which can be deadly. When the immune system is weakened by a virus, that sets the stage for bacterial infections to come in and wreak havoc.

Flu vaccines remain important, Weigand said, even if just 1 in 10 vaccinated people 65 or older is getting protection.

Jose Rodriguez, spokesman for Columbus Public Health, agreed, adding that more vaccinated younger people, who have better response to the vaccine, will make for fewer sickened older people who come in contact with them.

The low response to the vaccine is “really disappointing; however, it’s the best defense that we have,” Rodriguez said.

Tessie Pollock, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health, said the limited vaccine effectiveness shown in this latest research, like that seen in other studies, underscores the need for a better vaccine.

Weigand said people who do get infected despite having the vaccine could be less sick and be less likely to end up with a life-threatening complication.

Nationally, flu remained a concern, but it appeared to be on the downturn throughout most of the country last week. Some flu measures in Ohio were up and others were down. Hospitalizations have been going down statewide for six weeks. But related emergency visits and thermometer sales were up.

In Columbus, laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu were up significantly last week over the week before, but other measures were relatively steady.

“Clearly, we’re not out of the woods yet,” Rodriguez said.

(My comment:

Most know of my own predilection – [and so many others], to the flu shot. Many years ago, I did have a flu shot and developed the flu from it.  Experience showed me that it was not for me.  I had no understanding  of the so-called perils involved.  Like most others, I had acquiesced to my doctor to take the shot.  So whether it was my gut, intuition or just luck, I have been spared the deleterious effects that the majority  of people undergo.  This blog has many other posts on the potential dangers involved with vaccines, the toxic side effects and often, the inadequate protection.  I feel it is wrong for our medical leaders to hype this  so-called preventive care when in point of fact it is  in the BIG PhRMA’s interest of net profits.  They make so much money on all of them, that it’s never going to stop.

It is the combination of all these “preventive” inoculations  from the cradle to the grave  that our immune systems become damaged – – often beyond repair.  If even a fraction of time and energy were devoted to teaching people the simple things which can be done to improve their immune system – – can’t you just imagine how much healthier we could all be?   How much less we would have to be spending on illnesses and chronic disease.   . .  so easy:  

it starts in the gut which is the home of the immune system.   *So clean out the intestinal tract if needed – – try a cleanse or two     *pay attention to food combining [what foods go with what – –  acid/base] . . this was a gift from Dr Hay, early 20th century. Have done a post or two on this as well as others, including Paleo.   *Greatest investment is to provide best, organic, unprocessed food available.     * Important what is left out-of-body/diet as well as what you ingest       *digestion very important [don’t consume protein with starch – one cancels out the digestive juices  the other needs.  Protein good with veggies, fruit, fats but no starches like potatoes.  If mix wrong combinations at one time,  the food not digested properly and putrefies in intestine.  Therefore, do not receive the nutritive content, only a burden for the body to handle. Body makes less digestive juices as age – often need help HCL assist and also take enzymes    *Take Vitamins B  C  D and E     *All together, these are the things which tend to build health and strengthen the body’s resources – – immune system.    *Taking  antibiotics destroy the flora of the gut, stripping away body’s ability to ward off  anything which hits.       *Finding herbal solutions is far superior to helping the organism maintain a healthy status quo      .    .      .     .  just sayin’. .   .   .  Jan)


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