A Subject that left many perplexed in January ..the flu vaccine.
Here’s some interesting articles I came across this month. I hope it helps inform you.
Flu Shot only 58% Effective, New Research Says
Here’s an excerpt that shows the elderly are most at risk:
Doctor Michael Osterholm who specializes in infectious diseases looked at flu cases from 1936 -2012. He found the vaccine is only 59% effective in healthy adults 18-64. The data was inconsistent for ages 2-17 and in the elderly 65 and older the vaccine reached what they called “paucity” or a very small number. Osterholm in an interview said, “Our problem: we have limited evidence they work well in people over age 65 or people with health problems.” The problem with that is easy to understand. The push for the elderly to get the vaccine grows each year – and yet 90 percent of flu deaths are in the elderly.
Hatch, H. New Research Shows Flu Shot Only 59% Effective In Healthy Adults. KUTV.com. 1/17/2013. http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_3374.shtml
Blood Type, Flu, & Elderberry
A good summary on individualized treatment and a natural support herbal by Dr. D’Adamo.
Some researchers have hypothesized that one explanation for the typical emergence of the new epidemic strains of influenza in Asia is connected to blood type (and the relatively high proportion of type B blood found in Asia). It seems that blood type B has a genetic predisposition to latent (chronic) persistence of influenza A virus (especially A(H3N2) “Hong Kong” variants). Often, the influenza virus antigen can still be found in healthy type B individuals as much as 5 months after a “flu”. This means that although they might not have symptoms, they are providing a safe harbor for the virus.
And what about elderberry?
It seems that this herb may help produce higher anti-haemagglutination titers to influenza B (meaning better immune recognition of the virus). Elderberry further has been shown to inhibit neuraminidase, which is an enzyme that assists in viral replication. There is some clinical evidence supporting that it may also be helpful in preventing infection of influenza A.
Kelly, G & D’Adamo, P. Blood Type and Influenza. Eat Right for Your Type. http://www.dadamo.com/media/blood_type_influenza.html. Copyright 2000-2011.
30 MILLION RECEIVED PANDEMRIX: 795 People Reported Narcolepsy Side Effect
A vaccine controversy linked to side effects of a certain brand:
In total, the GSK shot was given to more than 30 million people in 47 countries during the 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu pandemic. Because it contains an adjuvant, or booster, it was not used in the United States because drug regulators there are wary of adjuvanted vaccines.GSK says 795 people across Europe have reported developing narcolepsy since the vaccine’s use began in 2009.
Kate Kelland. INSIGHT-Evidence grows for narcolepsy link to GSK swine flu shot. Reuters. 1/22/13.
Cochrane Review: Flu Vaccine Modestly Helpful in Reducing Sick Time
An unbiased meta-analysis of the studies on vaccines published in Cochrane..Flu vaccine helps with duration…but not great at preventing complications.
(I encourage you to review the full abstract ):
Authors’ conclusions: Influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost. There is no evidence that they affect complications, such as pneumonia, or transmission.
This review includes 15 out of 36 trials funded by industry (four had no funding declaration). An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 found industry funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size. Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favorable to the vaccines. The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding.
Jefferson T, Di Pietrantonj C, Rivetti A, Bawazeer GA, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD001269. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001269.pub4
You can read more on how to support the immune system at the time when the flu critter is out on a blog I wrote for Times Union at: