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Flu Shots: How Effective Are They?

A recent report indicates the vaccinations provide only "modest" protection.

It's flu shot season and public health officials urge everyone over 6 months old to get one.

But just how effective are influenza vaccinations in preventing the flu?

According to a report in the New York Times the heavily tauted flu shots that we are encouraged to get each year may not be all that effective.

Last month a report released by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota indicated that the influenza vaccinations "provide only modest protection for healthy young and middle-age adults, and little if any protection for those 65 and older."

Still CDC officials report that studies indicate that "elderly people who get flu shots are less likely to die of any cause than elderly people who do not get them."

Are you going to heed the well-known advice and error on the side of caution and get a flu shot? Or are you going to take your chances that you won't come down with the flu bug this season?

Joan Rosof November 13, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I am 75 years old and was a healthy women 4feet 11 inches weight 96 lbs. Went for a flu shot on September 14th. Two weeks later I began feeling body chills and clammy and a temperature of 95.6. I have had every blood test you can think of and everything is perfect. I have see three internists, consulted with an endochronologist, rheumatologist and no one has an answer or will say possible antigen reaction to the extra strength flu shot that was given because I am 75. My body feels awful. The only one who feels and will admit that it is probably a reaction to the flu shot is a an Aryuvedic Dr. that I finally sought out for help. My immune system is being attacked and having trouble fighting the vaccine given to all persons 65 and older. The vaccine I have been told has four times the amount of antigens than that given to people under 65.
Judy Putnam (Editor) November 13, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Joan: I'm sorry to hear you've had such a bad reaction to the flu shot. I hope you soon begin recovering from the effects of the vaccination. At this point, I'm sure you would have rather had the flu.
Joan Rosof November 13, 2012 at 09:11 PM
You are absolutely correct. I have read a lot about flu shots and believe they can do more harm han good.

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