Study says taking flu shot not as effective as once believed

Cole Carruthers
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A new report was recently released in the US that is suggesting the need to constantly bombard the public with flu shots is getting in the way of developing more effective and longer lasting vaccines.

The report, from public health experts at the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, say current shots only offer moderate protection and that it’s basically a crap shoot.

Existing flu shots offer only moderate protection some years, less in others and in general are not high quality, according to the report.

“Our current influenza vaccines work for some of the people some of the time. And we clearly need vaccines that work for most of the people most of the time,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the center, said in a Canadian Press interview.

“We recommend you continue to get your flu shot. It's the best protection we have. But it's not enough,” Osterholm said.

One of the major findings in the report is the changed percentage of people who actually benefit from receiving an annual vaccination. It was long believed by research groups that flu shots offered 70 to 90 per cent protection against the flu, which has been found to be wrong.

The report finds vaccinations actually offer 50 to 60 per cent in healthy adults and the effectiveness rates are lower in seniors and people in poor health.

Researchers believe annually manufactured flu vaccines are created in too short of a time frame to be effective for the majority of the public, and around 15 years would be needed to develop a single new vaccine over the ones used each year.

The current flu shots are based on medical assessments on what flu strains are going to cause the most infection over the flu season.

As always, money matters most to drug manufacturers; they make millions selling flu shots –– actually billions.

“The report notes that the global market for flu vaccine is estimated at US$2.8 billion.”

Gee, I wonder why there’s such a hubbub for the public to take them?



Organizations: Center for Infectious Diseases Research, University of Minnesota, Canadian Press

Geographic location: US

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