Skip to comments.Will Your Flu Shot Protect You Against Swine Flu?
Posted on 04/29/2009 11:03:48 PM PDT by neverdem
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly doubts that this year's flu vaccine will offer people any protection from the swine flu. "We don't think that any of the existing vaccines are effective," acting CDC Director Richard Besser said yesterday at a press conference.
But some flu vaccine researchers and public health experts say the jury is still out. "If I hadn't already had the vaccine, I'd take it," says Robert Webster, a flu guru and vaccinemaker at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
CDC's Daniel Jernigan says experiments with ferrets done there suggest that the current vaccine has no power against the H1N1 strain of swine flu now circulating the globe. CDC researchers took ferrets never infected with an influenza virus and injected them with this year's vaccine, which has an H1N1 component of human, not swine, origin. They then tested the ferrets' blood sera, the part that contains antibodies triggered by the vaccine, against the swine H1N1 from the outbreak. "The sera do not provide any protection," says Jernigan.
Then again, as Jernigan acknowledges, antibodies provide only one type of immunity triggered by the vaccine.
The vaccine can also stimulate the cell-mediated arm of the immune system, the part that clears infected cells from the blood. The ferret model did not further test the possibility that vaccination leads to milder disease. And many elderly people may also have some immunity from previous infections with similar influenza viruses or previous vaccinations. "There's a lot of information that we don't have," says Jernigan.
Julio Frenk, dean of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the former secretary of health in Mexico, like Webster, suspects that the vaccine may do some good. Frenk notes that Mexico has excellent vaccine coverage of children under 5 years old and the elderly, the two groups that have been spared in this outbreak. "There's a likelihood that there's at least partial protection," says Frenk, who was in Mexico City at the time.
Webster, who says he wouldn't expect much from the current vaccine because the H1N1 in it differs markedly from the new strain, still says it may make the difference between developing a mild illness and death.
You can find our full coverage of swine flu--including breaking news on the latest developments--here.
probably not. Since it doesn’t even work for any other flu either.
Hey, am I the only one who finds the incessant coverage of a flu outbreak concurrent with the just-now-emerging effort to push Obama’s “health care” plan, well, a little bit too much coincidence?
Google “influenza vitamin d” or read this http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/51913.php
Yep, I think that you’re right on... This seems to be just another fortunate red light opportunity for him. I do think that this is a bit overblown - but what do I know. If this actually does become a problem, I will be one of the few who are saying - whatever... Sorry, but it seems that these kind of scares only happen when needed...(and this is a long way from an actual scary flu epidemic)...
You’re not the only one.
Wash your friggin’ hands and walk away from anyone sneezing or hacking. No flu shot necessary.
Thanks for the link.
What an interesting article. I won’t get it then, because I take Vitamin D.
Rumor: If muslims die of Swine Flu they cannot enter heaven...
I've taken the flu shot twice -- and got sick both times. No more!
A few years back our company paid for all of us to get a flu shot (there was an especially rough flu season anticipated). I was one of two in the office that declined. I did not get the flu, but nearly everyone else did.
Excellent article. I’ve been taking 2000 IU/day for a couple of years, since reading about the same phenomenon in Life Extension Magazine.
I had no flu shot this year, and didn’t get sick (though I did get sick and tired of my wife bitching at me to get the shot). I will most likely double the dose to 4,000 IU as a preventative measure, and get the wife and kids on it as well. I’m also emailing that article to everyone I know, with instructions to forward it to their contact list. Everyone reading this ought to do the same, ensuring that word of this spreads quickly.
The best thing about Vitamin D (and it is really D3, which almost all formulations use, and which is very easily and completely absorbed) is that it is dirt cheap. At Sam’s club I paid about $8 for a bottle of 400 2000 IU pills. Beats the crap out of the vaccine (which, of course, didn’t help with this strain) on several fronts (cost, pain, effectiveness), and definitely beats Tamiflu (something like $90 a dose recently, plus you need to be sick to get it. I’m sure that the drug industry would like to ban Vitamin D, except in its own patented formulations.
I took it under similar arrangements — at work. They were right downstairs and charged $5, I think. I thought, what the heck?
I thought it was a fluke the first time I got sick, so I did it again a couple years later.
I may change my mind when I’m older but for now, as long as I’m in good health, they can keep their syringes to themselves.
I think the word is getting around, the Wally World here just put up a display with Vitamin D3 on sale 2 for 1.
I've had almost every Flu imaginable. No shots for me either.
I'm not bullet proof, but my immune system is working perfectly.
Thanks for the post. I’m going to send it to my e-mail list.
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