61

In general, the benefit of flu shots is to the general population. Taking the cited value of 40%-60% from the CDC, we can say that it might be a coin toss for you personally to be protected from influenza by the shot. However, if many thousands of people take the flu shot, even if it only works on 40% of them, it helps protect the remaining population from ...


41

Tackling your points in turn, in inverted order: flu is an irritant but nowhere near deadly You are probably confusing the flu (influenza) with the common cold, which is colloquially often called “the flu”, or gastroenteritis (colloquially called “stomach flu”). Unfortunately these are actually very different diseases. The common cold is indeed largely ...


17

Influenza deaths are not specifically tracked in those over the age of 18 but they can be estimated from death certificates. CDC estimates that from 2010-2011 to 2013-2014, influenza-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of 12,000 (during 2011-2012) to a high of 56,000 (during 2012-2013). Death certificate data and weekly influenza ...


14

Influenza vaccines do not have satisfactory effective rates of preventing flu. Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% Vaccines aren't meant to stop diseases by making 100% invulnerable individuals. Of course we want the highest possible efficacy, but the primary benefit is the large impact they have on a collective level, by ...


12

Other answers have explained why being vaccinated is generally a good idea, and I fully support the ones that do. That said, the article you've linked to does indeed present some very scary points, and I fully understand why reading something like that would give you some doubts about your own safety, so I'd like to directly tackle the key point raised by it....


11

This is a really interesting question, because it really isn't as easy as people being a bit more susceptible in the winter. There's no definitive answer yet. Influenza Seasonality: Underlying Causes and Modeling Theories says: In temperate climates, flu infections at whatever level of intensity are characterized by a flu season. In these areas, the ...


9

I've worked on influenza in the past, and I've never heard that particular justification for missing a flu vaccine before. I confess I can't even find it when I Google for that particular belief. There are some viral diseases where it's true that prior vaccination (or natural exposure) may cause a severe overreaction of the immune system that results in ...


8

There have been no additional reports in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which was where your original article points to regarding the efficacy of the flu vaccine. However, the most recent update on influenza activity within the United States, which was about a month later than your report, does not suggest there has been any mid-season change in ...


7

The FluMist vaccine contains (source): Each pre-filled refrigerated FluMist Quadrivalent sprayer contains a single 0.2 mL dose. Each 0.2 mL dose contains 106.5-7.5 FFU (fluorescent focus units) of live attenuated influenza virus reassortants of each of the four strains: A/Bolivia/559/2013 (H1N1) (an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus), A/...


6

Because we know its genomic sequence. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720273/: Using fixed and frozen lung tissue of 1918 influenza victims, the complete genomic sequence of the 1918 influenza virus has been deduced. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis of the completed 1918 influenza virus genes shows them to be the most avian-like among the ...


5

No, it doesn't Vaccines contain the same antigens (or parts of antigens) that cause diseases. For example, measles vaccine contains measles virus. But the antigens in vaccines are either killed, or weakened to the point that they don’t cause disease. However, they are strong enough to make the immune system produce antibodies that lead to immunity. In other ...


5

In 2015-16, The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issued a report on Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines that recommended that all children (under nine years old) should get two doses of flu vaccine the first year that they are vaccinated against the flu. The second flu shot — a booster dose, improves the effectiveness of the flu ...


5

When I searched for flu vaccines authorized in Germany, I got a list of 65 vaccines (at least I think so, because the information system is available only in German). The list is available at: http://www.pharmnet-bund.de/static/de/index.html (but I don't think that there is any sense in linking the actual page with the list, because it expires after a while ...


5

Symptoms, in short: Common cold: blocked nose, yellow/green mucus, scratchy throat lasting for 7-14 days (usually no headache, fever or fatigue), year round Hay fever (allergy to pollens): runny nose (not really blocked), clear mucus, itchy eyes, lasting for several weeks, mainly in spring (usually no headache, fever or fatigue) Flu (seasonal influenza): ...


5

In general a cold (usually rhinovirus), Influenza, or even a bacterial infection can have quite similar symptoms. If contracted through airborne particles, they primarily affect the respiratory system. Mucus, sneezing, fever, are all signs that the body is fighting an infection, as is fatigue as the body diverts resources to the immune system. Essentially, ...


5

The paradox you describe is resolved if you think about the influenza vaccine that is approved as a procedure for making an annual vaccine. It is the procedure, repeated year-after-year, that has been tested safe and effective against the strains included in the vaccine that year. The vaccine is produced in the same way each year, and all the manufacturing ...


4

Your pharmacist or doctor should be able to decide which one is the best fit for you. Factors that are considered in recommendations include age, allergies (egg or mercury), and your medical history specifically if you are on a continuous steroid therapy or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The medication that you received last year "AFLURIA" is not a ...


4

There are two types of flu vaccine - inactivated influenza vaccine (which uses 'killed' influenza virus) and live-attenuated vaccine (which uses a more mild virus that should be asymptomatic). According to the CDC, among the contraindications for the live-attenuated vaccine is: "Children aged <2 years or adults aged ≥50 years". This is likely because, as ...


4

The 2015 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) does not express a preference for use of any particular product over another for persons for whom more than one type of vaccine is appropriate and available. The major recommendations concern age, state of health, allergies (some vaccines are specifically recommended for people allergic to eggs or ...


4

In short: You cannot reliably differentiate between Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and flu from symptoms alone. Facts About Hantaviruses (CDC.gov): Usually, people do not have a runny nose, sore throat, or a rash. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in Pregnancy (Clinical Infectious Diseases), case review: She also noted watery eyes, a runny nose, and a ...


4

Probably the flu vaccine. The first flu vaccine was developed in 1937, it only protected against one strain of the virus (we now vaccinate against three or four), but by 1942, another strain was added. The US Army even carried out the trials to test the vaccine and used it during WW2. Was it effective? Yep, at least in 1944. During the 1943–1944 season ...


4

A few more points, in addition to the good answers you already have and just addressing: Does it make sense for a healthy male in his early 40s to take the influenza vaccine [...]? Short answer: healthy 40-year-old male already excludes a number of high risk/priority groups, but not all of them (e.g. if you help taking care of 90- year-old grandma, maybe ...


4

Marc Bevand presents this graph of IFR versus age for both COVID-19 and flu: The sources of data are documented on this github page. There is a summary of the sources in the README file. Unfortunately, the IFR data in the graph does not come with error bars. However, most of the underlying sources do include error bars. For instance, Table 1 of "...


3

To your questions: Is it possible to get a secondary infection following a flu shot? Can a flu shot entail a risk of secondary infection like a real flu? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a whole webpage on the effectiveness of flu vaccine: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccineeffect.htm Here some points which should provide ...


3

My understanding is that quadrivalent flu shots are designed to build immunity to 4 flu virus strains, while trivalent flu shots are designed to build immunity to 3 flu virus strains. Is this accurate? Yes. For years, flu vaccines were designed to protect against three different flu viruses (trivalent). This included an influenza A H1N1 virus, an ...


3

The CDC recommends: Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for severe complications from influenza, or at higher risk for influenza-related outpatient, ED, or hospital visits. When vaccine supply is limited, vaccination efforts should focus on delivering vaccination to the following persons who do ...


3

It's possible in the same way that "anything is possible" (limiting ourselves to those things that are actually and potentially possible, i.e. a human can't sprout wings and fly; that's impossible.) It's possible, because the etiologic agent that causes Infectious Mononucleosis - Epstein-Barr virus or EBV - may periodically reactivate; that family of ...


3

The research into last year's flu season puts the blame on egg-based vaccine production. Reference: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/2/1/16960758/flu-vaccine-effectiveness Researchers guess at the dominant flu strains well before flu season starts, then grow the strains in chicken eggs - an outdated process that takes weeks. Additionally, H3N2 (...


3

There is a mixed, but largely unconvincing evidence that increased moisture within the nose would help to prevent or cure flu or common cold. Common colds: Relief for a stuffy nose, cough and sore throat (Informed Health Online): Many people find it pleasant to breathe in (inhale) steam ...But this kind of inhalation doesn't have a clear effect on cold ...


3

Based on the most recent large-scale and high quality Cochrane review on more than 80,000 healthy adults from 52 clinical trials aged 16 to 65 years, including pregnant women, over a single influenza season in North America, South America, and Europe who received vaccination between 1969 and 2009 (1): 71 healthy adults need to be vaccinated to prevent one ...


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