Friday, January 23, 2015

Only 23 Percent Protection from This Year’s Flu Vaccine

A new study finds the current vaccine reduces your risk of needing medical care because of flu by only 23%.

Most years, flu vaccine effectiveness ranges from 10 to 60% reported the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Despite the reduced effectiveness of this season’s flu shot, “vaccination is still important,” said lead report author Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist with the CDC. “But there are ways of treating and preventing flu that are especially important this season,” he added.

These include early treatment with antiviral drugs and preventing the spread of flu by washing hand and covering coughs, he said.

Twenty-three percent effectiveness means that there is some benefit – a little less flu in the vaccinated group. Flu is usually more common among unvaccinated Americans, Flannery said, “but this year there is a lot of influenza both in people who are vaccinated and in people who are unvaccinated.”

The findings are published in the January 16th issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
In flu seasons when the vaccine is well matched to the circulating H3N2 strains, effectiveness has been between 50-60%, the CDC said. This year, however, about 70% of the H3N2 virus seen has been different from the H3N2 strains in the vaccine, which explains its reduced effectiveness, Flannery said.

This year’s shot is most effective – 26% - for children 6 months old through 17 years. Older people get less benefit – just 12% of those 18 to 49 years and 14% for those 50 and older, the CDC said.

Although the vaccine is less reliable than in some years, the CDC still recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated. Vaccination can prevent some infections and reduce severe disease that can lead to hospitalization and death, the agency said.

My Take:
The concept of vaccination is over a hundred years old now. It came on the heels of the discovery of pathogens that cause disease. Although the technical aspects of vaccine preparation have improved markedly, the basic concept is flawed.

Western medicine considers cellular immunity to be the primary immune defense system. So inoculation with an attenuated virus triggers an immune response rendering the patient immune to that infection.

However, the GALT (gut associated lymphatic tissue) that lines the digestive tract is really our primary immune system. Several studies have documented this fact over the course of the past few years. In virtually all cases (expect deep puncture wounds) the pathogen’s first contact with our immune system is the GALT.

Vaccination shots by-pass the primary immune system of the body and stimulate cellular immunity without warning. Yes, it does reduce the rate of infection slightly but at what cost to the immune system.

The Bottom Line:
We need to develop oral vaccines that stimulate the GALT first. The information is then passed on the thymus where cellular immunity is properly stimulated. This has already been accomplished with some allergies and oral desensitization of ragweed and hay fever are readily available.

Source: January 15, 2015 National Institutes of Health

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