Wednesday, November 12, 2008


(WebMD) This year's flu shot was only 44% effective, a new study suggests - the least effective flu vaccine in a decade.

The findings come from a study of 616 Wisconsin residents who came down with flu-like illnesses during the peak of the flu season. Study findings appear in today's issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In good years, flu vaccines are 70% to 90% effective in preventing confirmed cases of flu bad enough to cause a person to seek medical attention. This year's vaccine appears to be the least effective since the 1997-1998 flu season, when the vaccine was about 50% effective. Two of the 2007-2008 flu vaccine's three components didn't match most of the flu viruses circulating this flu season.

This season's predominant flu bugs have been the mismatched type A H3N2 and type B H3N2 strains. The H3/N2 component was only a partial mismatch, cutting the vaccine's effectiveness against type A flu to 58%. The type B flu component did not match at all - and the vaccine seems to have had no effect against this bug.

In a commentary on the studies in the same journal, Paul Glezen of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston pointed out that in spite of the leap in vaccination rates among older people from 30% to 67% between 1989 and 1997, "mortality and hospitalisation rates continued to increase rather than decline".

Yet, despite the fact that the flu vaccine is less than half effective when given, even for the proper strains of flu, we are sold a bill of goods that our children need the vaccine as preschoolers.

In all of 2007, only 6 children in the U.S. died of flu-related illnesses, and most had other additional life threatening illnesses to boot. Compare that to the 50,000,000 vaccines given and the possible side effects, it gives credence to the segment of society that believes flu vaccines in children are unnecessary, dangerous, and just another example where the drug companies are forcing public policy.

Vaccination, lead by the Flu Vaccine in children, rakes in over 100 billion dollars for Big Pharma yearly