Thursday, January 15, 2015

Does The Flu Vaccine Work? Depends.

Public health departments have been preaching the virtues of getting the flu vaccine for years. Many workplaces, including medical offices and hospitals have been mandating that their employees receive the flu shot or risk getting terminated. This despite evidence that the vaccine's effectiveness may be little more than the flip of a coin.

Now comes another study that details how ineffective this particular year's flu vaccine really are. The Centers for Disease Control has calculated the vaccine effectiveness (VE) of the vaccine. In most years, the VE ranges from 10% to 60%. This year they have reported it is only 23%. That means that getting it will lead the receiver to have a 23% less likelihood of needing to visit a doctor for the flu compared to the unvaccinated person. Sounds pretty good, right?

But take a closer look at the numbers. The VE is highest in children ages six months to 17 years with 26%. For adults ages 18 to 49, the VE is 12%. Adults greater than 50 have VE of 14%. But here's the kicker. The VE in adults was considered to be too small to be statistically significant. In other words, the vaccine's ability to prevent a person from going to see a doctor for the flu was no greater than somebody who never got the shot.

Once again, why are we forcing medical workers to get a shot with dubious medical efficacy with loss of employment? I'm not against vaccinations for the population that has been demonstrated to be helped by it. I am on my tirade because of losing my loss of self determination. My body. My choice.

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