SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

January 21, 2015

Your Flu shot? 23% Effective!

Public health

Flu shot seen as just 23% effective


 NEW YORK — This year’s flu vaccine is doing a pretty crummy job. It’s only 23 percent effective, which is one of the worst performances in the past decade, according to a government study released yesterday.  

The poor showing is primarily because the vaccine doesn’t include the bug that is making most people sick, health officials say. In the past decade, flu vaccines at their best were 50 to 60 percent effective.   “This is an uncommon year,” said Dr. Alicia Fry, a flu-vaccine expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who was involved in the study.  

The findings are not surprising, though. In early December, CDC officials in Atlanta warned that the vaccine probably wouldn’t work very well because it isn’t well-matched to a strain that’s been spreading widely.  

Each year, the flu vaccine is reformulated based on experts’ best guess about which three or four strains will be the biggest problem. Those decisions usually are made in February, months before the flu season, to give companies that make flu shots and nasal-spray vaccine enough time to make doses.  

But this year’s formula didn’t include the strain of H3N2 virus that ended up causing about two-thirds of the illnesses this winter. And that strain tends to cause more hospitalizations and deaths, particularly in the elderly, making it a particularly bad winter to have a problem with the flu vaccine.  

Indeed, the flu season is shaping up to a bad one. Health officials are comparing it to the nasty flu season two winters ago, and this one might prove to be worse. Hospitalization rates in people 65 or older are higher than they were at the same point in the 2012-13 season, according to CDC data.   The results from the preliminary study weren’t large enough to show how the vaccine is working in each age group, although flu vaccines traditionally don’t work as well in elderly people.

The study involved 2,321 people in five states   — Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington — who had respiratory illnesses from November to early January. The researchers said vaccinated people had a 23 percent lower chance of winding up at the doctor with the flu.   CDC officials say people still should get a flu shot this year. Recently, the flu season in the United States has peaked in January or February, but people can continue to get sick for months. And they could get infected by the flu strains that were included in this year’s version.

(With all the poor results of the of these flu vaccines, it is beyond me why people continue to accept them.  I knew from my first attempt [which was also my last], to protect myself in expectation of the hype I had heard, that it did not do what was said – protect me.  Not too long afterward, I got the flu. I saw it as iffy if not an outright hoax.  And lo, these decades later. . . haven’t learned anything  to change my mind.    
But over the years I HAVE seen the damage of vaccination (no matter what it is for) which follows the injection of these so-called preventive measures to the human body;  most especially to the immune system which becomes weakened and often disabled in it’s valiant fight to protect the body from any and all assaults.   The toxic components within the shots seriously maim the function of immunity but also can impair the brain and central nervous system, sacrificing one’s fulfillment for a healthy life.  People have been duped by those whom they trust with their lives – – their doctors. Harassment is endless with prominent people on TV and other media to guilt everyone to get these shots. . . and with each shot, a further assault;  then we wonder why our brains are breaking down.  
Well, we DO have ‘free choice,’ they say.  One might question that.   Looks like brain-washing to me.    Jan)


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