Efficacy of influenza vaccine openly debated
Fifty years later, vaccination is still no ironclad guarantee of health
Many people line up for their flu shot at the beginning of cold and coughs season without giving it a second thought. However, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the vaccine may not be a guarantee of health or wellness - and that there may very well be some unintended consequences on account of the vaccine.
In conclusion, the flu is not as pervasive a problem as it used to be, but the elderly and the very young, as well as those with pre-existing conditions may do well to consider it as an option.
People who are already ill from a diminished immune system function may actually avoid death from the flu if they get the vaccine. Children younger than two years of age as well as adults over the age of 65 may benefit the most from the vaccine.
However, physicians advise against any child under six months of age being inoculated. There is only one universal dose of the vaccine given to everyone regardless of age or body size.
Those who are freshly vaccinated are not always given a list of side effects they might experience. All the possible side effects are infrequently listed, making it much more hard to record reactions to insure that they are accurately reported and recorded.
Under-reporting side effects is a far higher probability when it comes to evaluating various reactions. About 25 percent of the U.S. population gets an annual flu shot. The Center for Disease Control says that this year any one of us has a one in eight chance of getting the flu.
There is only a one in 345,000 chance that the flu will turn deadly for any one person. The number of people that die from the flu every year has decreased markedly since the vaccine was first approved in the 1950's.
BUT: The decrease in flu mortality cannot be attributed solely to the flu vaccines. So many aspects of U.S. health have improved in the past 50 years that one cannot say exactly how effective the flu vaccine really is.
On the other side of the coin is the fact that the influenza vaccine killed 51 people in 2011. That year, the flu was also reported as creating 232 life-threatening events, resulting in 116 permanent disabilities, and requiring over 700 hospitalizations.
Guillain-Barre syndrome has occurred as a result of flu vaccines. The CDC notes that this hasn't been proven to result from the vaccine since 1976. The CDC still does not understand why that increase in Guillain-Barre syndrome occurred.
In conclusion, the flu is not as pervasive a problem as it used to be, but the elderly and the very young, as well as those with pre-existing conditions may do well to consider it as an option. After 50 years of use, however, no one can say conclusively that it provides any guarantees for one's health and wellness.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
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