Some Individuals Question the Effectiveness and Safety of the Flu Vaccine
Each year before flu season, millions of flu vaccines are shipped around the world to protect humans from contracting the deadly influenza virus. Despite the millions of Americans who receive the flu vaccination each year, there are some individuals who doubt its effectiveness and safety. In addition to discussing the numerous conspiracies and doubts surrounding the flu shot, we’ll take a look at possible side effects, people who shouldn’t get vaccinated, and possible alternatives.
Why The Flu Vaccine May Not Be for You
It’s Somewhat Ineffective
Critics argue that there’s little evidence pointing to the effectiveness of the flu shot. The efficiency of the flu vaccine varies from season to season; a new vaccine is created each year by a small group of scientists from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) who determine the 3 most likely strains to use for development. For example, in February of this year the WHO recommended that countries in the Northern Hemisphere (like the United States) should have a flu vaccine that is made from the following 3 viruses for the 2012-2013 flu season:
- an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- an A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus
- a B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus (from the B/Yamagata lineage of viruses)
Each year, the viruses used to make the vaccination alter based on flu trends and scientific research. Depending on how well-matched the vaccination is with the seasonal trend and the demographics of those who are vaccinated, the effectiveness of the vaccine usually hovers between 60 and 90 percent for healthy adults, meaning that a possible 40% of people who receive the vaccination aren’t adequately protected. It’s these poor results that cause individuals like Dr. Michael Osterholm, who has studied medical records and flu-related studies dating back to 1936, to express skepticism over the efficacy of the flu vaccine:
“If we don’t change our current vaccines, we will have some protection, but we will in two ways miss two very important goals: one, protecting old people at the highest risk of death and two, when the next pandemic emerges, we will miss the opportunity to protect against pandemic.”
Along with a team of medical professionals, Dr. Osterholm also wrote a report in which the current vaccine production was described as “slow, inexact, and outdated.”
The Ingredients Can Be Dangerous
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