Why the Flu Vaccine Doesn't Work

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is looking at whether or not the flu vaccine is effective. Preliminary results indicate you'll get just as sick (with colds, flu, flu-like illnesses) if you got the vaccine than if you didn't. Why doesn't the vaccine work? In order to understand the answer, you'll need to understand some specifics about the flu vaccine and a bit about how immunity works.

    1. an antibody for one type of flu won't necessarily bind to a virus part from another type of flu. You don't get protection against other viruses.

    2.You may not even get protection against the intended virus.

    3. the flu vaccine will be more effective some years than others.

    Bottom line: The flu vaccine varies in effectiveness from year-to-year. Even in a best-case scenario, it won't always protect against the flu. The CDC study didn't say that the vaccine didn't work; it says the vaccine didn't protect people from getting sick. Even with imperfect effectiveness, the vaccine is indicated for certain people. In my opinion, however, the vaccine isn't for everyone and certainly shouldn't be required for otherwise healthy people.

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  2. Revmitchell

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    Doubts Grow Over Flu Vaccine in Elderly

    The influenza vaccine, which has been strongly recommended for people over 65 for more than four decades, is losing its reputation as an effective way to ward off the virus in the elderly

    A growing number of immunologists and epidemiologists say the vaccine probably does not work very well for people over 70, the group that accounts for three-fourths of all flu deaths.

    The latest blow was a study in The Lancet last month that called into question much of the statistical evidence for the vaccine’s effectiveness.

    The authors said previous studies had measured the wrong thing: not any actual protection against the flu virus but a fundamental difference between the kinds of people who get vaccines and those who do not.

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  3. Revmitchell

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    Why You Probably Don't Need a Flu Shot

    ............The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lumps together mortality (death) statistics for the flu and pneumonia, but even at that, more than 90 percent of flu and pneumonia-related deaths occur in people over the age of 65. Your risk of dying from illness related to the flu rises dramatically as you age—but this is complicated by the fact that most people that age have other underlying conditions, such as diabetes, heart and circulatory diseases, and significantly decreased immune function. Even at that, the estimated number of people over the age of 50 who die from flu-related illness and/or pneumonia each year is around 58, and over the age of 65 the number is about 915. A flu shot reduces the risk of getting the flu in the elderly by 10 to 30 percent, depending on which study you read.......

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  4. Revmitchell

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    Some studies find it makes a huge difference. Others do not. Experts say the truth is

    How much difference does the flu shot really make?

    Various studies offer wide-ranging conclusions. One, for instance, found that seasonal influenza vaccine halves elderly deaths from any cause in the winter months. But another found it has no impact at all on this age group's health. These and other conflicting findings are pushing public health officials and scientists to look for better ways to quantify the preventive's impact.

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  5. just-want-peace

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    Which brings to mind the old adage, "Figures don't lie, BUT liars do figure!"

    Not accusing these good folk of lying, but a slight change of data criteria, or the method of compiling said data, can make a world of difference in the results.

    Modern polls are a wonderful example of the potential to get any desired results depending on the construction of the questions and/or the sampling pool.
     
  6. Johnv

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    Yet, none of those studies support the OP claim that the flu vaccine doesn't work.
     
  7. Martin

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    ==Not only that, even the source cited in the OP states the following:

    "Even with imperfect effectiveness, the vaccine is indicated for certain people. In my opinion, however, the vaccine isn't for everyone and certainly shouldn't be required for otherwise healthy people."

    Nobody has said the vaccine is perfect or that it provides 100% protection.

    The idea that because it is not perfect it should be thrown out is not logical. Nothing is fool proof when it comes to the flu. You can get the vaccines, live healthy, and wash your hands like Adrian Monk and still get sick. That does not mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water. The flu vaccines are not meant to be 100% protection. They are meant to provide a person with an extra layer of protection.

    The NY Times article, posted by RevMitchell, also does not deny the need for the flu vaccine. The article deals with the debate over the effectiveness of the flu vaccine for the aged. The article does mention that there are factors that might "scew" the morality numbers when it comes to the elderly. According to the MayoClinic, "If you're over age 65, the vaccine doesn't offer as much protection as it would to someone younger because older adults produce fewer antibodies in response to the virus. Still, the vaccine offers more protection than does skipping the shot altogether" (LINK).

    This all brings us back to the same conclusions: (a) the vaccine is not perfect, (b) the vaccines may not work for everyone, (c) some people should not get the vaccine, (d) for many people the vaccines appear to provide a level of protection against the targeted flu strains, (e) most people do not have a negative reaction to the vaccine (other than a sore arm).

    Flu Shot: Your Best Bet For Avoiding Influenza (LINK)
    Flu Vaccine: Safe For People With Egg Allergy (LINK)
    Hand Washing: An Easy Way To Prevent Infection (LINK)
     
    #7 Martin, Oct 14, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2009
  8. BigBossman

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    I can say that during my entire adult life (& my teenage years), I have never had a flu shot. I have only caught the flu a few times & rarely ever get sick. Whenever I do get sick, I always bounce back within a few days.

    I have to wonder if it will be a requirement in the future for people to take this vaccine that has been put out there.
     

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