Citing a poor match for influenza itself, this year flu vaccine is ineffective in at least 75 percent of people, according to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), reports Business Insider. This means that, due to the ineffective vaccine, more than three quarters of those who got flu shots can still get the flu, according to the CDC.
“An interim CDC report found the shot was only 23 percent effective overall, a performance about in line with what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted last year, experts said. At the time, CDC warned that the predominant flu virus, influenza A (H3N2), had ‘drifted’ or changed genetically since the shot was made,” Business Insider reported about the flu vaccine being ineffective this current flu season.
Another report by the Los Angeles Times, based on the CDC findings, about the ineffective flu vaccine puts that number at 23 percent, making the claim that those who got the shot with the ineffective vaccine are 23 percent less likely to get infected with influenza.
“The research team arrived at the 23 [percent] figure by interviewing patients whose doctors were participating in the U.S. Flu VE Network, a surveillance system with sites in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington state,” the Times reported on how the CDC collected the data showing the flu vaccine to be largely ineffective.
The flu vaccine was known to be ineffective earlier this flu season, the Inquisitr reported in December of last year, but patients were still advised to get the shots despite the vaccine being ineffective. The Inquisitr cited a 50 percent ineffective rate of the flu vaccine in the past, but for this season the CDC has reported the vaccine ineffective in at least 75 percent of patients.
The argument for getting the shot despite the vaccine being ineffective is echoed in this ABC News report, which argues than an ineffective flu vaccine may give some protection that is better than none at all.
But that argument assumes that vaccines work even if they are ineffective, and that there is no protection against influenza without taking the ineffective flu vaccine shot. Dr. Joseph Mercola, publishers of the internet’s most widely read health newsletter and a licensed and practicing physician in Illinois, disputes both points. Dr. Mercola argues that the ineffective flu vaccines don’t work and that they suppress the body’s immune system, making it vulnerable to some flus and other illnesses, and points out there are risks from the shots themselves.
Citing CDC data about ineffective flu vaccines, Dr. Mercola wrote as follows.
“… during the 2012-2013 flu season, the flu vaccine’s effectiveness was found to be just 56 percent across all age groups reviewed by the CDC—in essence, the statistical equivalent of a coin toss. In seniors, aged 65 and over, the US flu vaccines were only nine percent effective.”
Dr. Mercola has cited studies showing flu vaccine is ineffective, writing as follows.
“There are many studies refuting the notion that getting vaccinated against the flu is an effective way to prevent contracting and spreading the flu. For example, not just one, but three recent studies published in the journal Eurosurveillance 3, 4, 5 strongly challenge the claim that the influenza vaccine will protect you against influenza. Commenting on one of the studies analyzing the 2011-2012 flu season, the European Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) wrote: 6 ‘A multicenter study by researchers in eight European countries indicated that overall vaccine effectiveness (VE) against influenza A/H3N2 in the first months of the season was 38 percent, but after mid-February it dropped to -1 percent.'”
The debate about ineffective flu vaccine, and whether one should take the shot, will continue. The high rate, 75 percent, by which this season’s flu vaccine is ineffective has just further raised the debate over whether flu vaccine is ineffective or even sufficiently effective enough at all to warrant patients getting the shots.
[Image of Influenza from the CDC]