Skip to comments.Doctors: Vaccine, not actual flu, best way to give kids immunity
Posted on 10/26/2009 6:38:12 PM PDT by decimon
For those who advocate "natural immunity," is there really a difference between the immunity conferred by getting the flu and that provided by vaccination?
They're close, though the nasal-spray type is closer, says Tun-Hou Lee, a professor of virology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
There are three "arms" of the immune response, Lee says. The first are antibodies, which are also known as immunoglobulins. Produced by white blood cells, they identify and attack bacteria and viruses. The second are killer T cells, which can tell when a cell has been infected with a virus and then attack it. The third are mucosal antibodies, which live in the mucous membranes in the nose and mouth and defend against the virus there.
Most vaccine from killed virus
There are two types of vaccine available against both seasonal and H1N1 flu. About 80% is in the form of shots made from killed virus. FluMist nasal spray, which makes up about 20% of the H1N1 vaccine supply, uses live, weakened virus to provoke an immune response.
The live but weakened ("attenuated") virus creates all three immune responses, Lee says. "You can almost treat the FluMist as a natural infection," Lee says. The shots only provoke an antibody response.
(Excerpt) Read more at bcbs.com ...
35,000 per year die from the flu in the US. I expect it will come out that H1N1 has a lower death rate than other types.
The death rate with the typical seasonal flu is about 0.2% and it’s mostly in the old and infirm.
H1N1 has a death rate of.....surprise.....0.2%, unfortunately, it’s mostly in the young.
And of course 0.2% can mean just a few or a whole lot of deaths depending on how many catch it.
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