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By Kim Stagliano
New outlets reported last week that the flu shot is a poor match for the current viruses. Fox News pointed out the some experts are questioning the CDC's forecasting:
CDC sent an advisory to doctors noting that one component of this year's flu vaccine was only partially protective against the predominant flu virus, known as influenza A (H3N2), which has mutated since the current flu shots were made....
"No one really knows what is going on here with the flu strains and the match using the current methods," said Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert from the University of Minnesota.
In a 2011 paper, Osterholm found flu shots only protected about 59 percent of the population. "For all we know, this vaccine may work as well as it does every other year."
Dr. Richard Zimmerman of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, however, said that, while not perfect, the methods offer "a reasonable proxy" for what will happen.
Can you imagine any other product failing to perform so badly and yet being pushed, in some cases virtually forced, on Americans like the flu vaccine? If this were a car, heck, a a child's toy... it would be banned for abject failure.
The war on flu is akin to the American war on drugs. We know it's not working, we know it's creating problems, we know the return on investment in terms of actual health is dismal but we keep hammering away with "Just Say No." Someone has a good return on investment though - that's American healthcare.
In all of the effort to make sure you and everyone you love gets a flu shot, there is never any mention of side effects - the blissful vaccine bubble of imaginary safety remains intact. While every drug has to declare its side effects, vaccines can be sold like Dr. Pepper without so much as a mention of potential problems.
Forbes Magazine covered the CDC advisory, "Is This Year's Flu Shot Any Good?" If you haven’t yet gotten your flu shot, get to it. There’s no down side, and the protection, while not perfect, might still save you weeks of misery, and perhaps even your life.
No down side? Wow. Talk about glibly misleading readers. But go ahead, per Forbes. Go get that vaccine. You know, in case it sort of maybe might on the off chance work. "Gut" thing we didn't adopt that attitude after December 7, 1941, ja?
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her new novel, House of Cards; A Kat Cavicchio romantic suspense is available from Amazon in all e-formats now. Her memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book.