Skip to comments.2 Studies Question the Effectiveness of Flu Vaccines
Posted on 09/21/2005 2:27:51 PM PDT by neverdem
Rome, Sept. 21 - Just as governments around the world are stockpiling millions of doses of flu vaccine and antiviral drugs in anticipation of a potential influenza pandemic, two new research papers published today have found that such treatments are far less effective than previously thought.
"The studies published today reinforce the shortcomings of our efforts to control influenza," wrote Dr. Guan Yi, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, in an editorial that accompanied the papers. The two studies were published early online by the British medical journal, the Lancet, because of their implications for the upcoming flu season.
In one paper, international researchers analyzed all the data from patient studies on the flu vaccine performed worldwide in the past 37 years and discovered that vaccines showed at best a "modest" ability to prevent influenza or its complications in elderly people.
"The runaway 100 percent effectiveness that's touted by proponents was nowhere to be seen," said Tom Jefferson, a Rome-based researcher with the Cochrane Vaccine Fields project, an international consortium of scientists who perform systematic reviews of research data.
"There is a wild overestimation of the impact of these vaccines in the community," Dr. Jefferson said. "In the case of a pandemic, we are unsure from the data whether these vaccines would work on the elderly."
In the second paper, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control found that influenza viruses, particularly those from the dreaded bird flu strain, had developed high rates of resistance to older and cheaper antiviral drugs - rates that have escalated rapidly since 2003, particularly in Asia.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
This is beginning to sound like the 50's reaction to an atomic bomb: "When you see the flash, bend over with your head between your knees, and kiss your arse goodbye." Who's incharge here?
My dad says he was never sicker from the flu than when he got a flu shot.
My mileage. Am 68 yrs. old have never gotten a flu shot and had the flu once.
During flu season - wash your hands many times/day & avoid touching face = no flu.
You should apply for a $1 million/year research grant to keep up your study. That's how the liberals make a killing teaching. As a bonus, then there will be three studies regarding flu vaccines...
I got my first flu shot in my life last year.. a "MUST" to be able to care for our precious Logan, and I wound up with pneumonia!!!
I have been board-certified in Infectious Diseases for twenty-three years, and the HIGHEST efficacy I have ever seen claimed for influenza vaccine is 78%. Many studies claim lower efficacy.
I have NEVER, EVER seen or heard a claim of 100% effectiveness, not to mention "runaway 100% effectiveness", whatever that is.
The fact is, if a flu vaccine protects 70% of people who get it, and all people over 65 get it, tens of thousands of lives are saved in a typical flu season.
That's reason enough to promote it.
Please tell me I need to get back up to date with my immunology, I would love to be informed that my education in reference to influenza vaccine has become outdated. OTOH, I remember finding some information in an old German Microbiology Journal from 1890 written by Koch while researching adjuvants was dead on eighty years before it became researched thoroughly with modern techniques.
I agree. Have had one flu shot about 6 years ago and that was only because it was free and a drive thru. I can't remember the last time I had the flu - perhaps '92.
Sorry I cannot help you. You're waaaaay above my pay grade. MA probably can. ;-D
When the vaccine for the Avian Flu becomes available, I shall wait in line all night outside the clinic to get it, even if it doesn't protect "perfectly".
This new monster has a mortality rate of over 50% - and that is with many of it's victims getting treated in intensive care units. Granted, the evolution of this virus into higher morbidity in humans will likely decrease the death rate to something less nightmarish, say, 5%. But, if 50% of Americans catch it that still means 7-8 million unscheduled funerals. That's a lot different than the "usual" mortality of 30-60,000 extra deaths we are used to each winter.
This is a medical CAT 5 brewing out there. Hopefully, it will continue to swirl around longer while we manufacture vaccine and accumulate Tamiflu. If the current outbreak in Indonesia turns nasty(er), it could be on us in a short period of time - too late to do anything about it.
I'm in the senior population.
Had a flu shot one year long ago (I think the '70's). Got the flu.
Have had neither shots nor flu since.
Extended family of 11 doesn't get the shots and don't get the flu, either. Do use prayer, wisdom, homeopathy and herbs.
I've never had a flu shot, had a mild case last winter. Hub got the shot (free) and got flu + pneumonia.
I have been getting a flu shot every year (except last year), and I have had the flu several times afterwards. Invariably, though, the doctors say, "Well, it must have been some other virus." Sure acts like flu to me!
About the paygrade, I don't know, you have sent me back to the blackboard and books a number of times with your discussions. At least you and MA make the study exciting again.
for later bump
Thank you for your many contributions, FRiend. ;-D