Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

October 4, 2011

Value of Flu Vaccine to Persons Over 65





     As I type this post I hear the drip, drip, drip, of raindrops rolling off the eaves of the house onto the ground. It’s been a constant sound since Friday evening, and before. My hands are chilly in the damp forties temperature.

     It’s a reminder that the flu season is upon us.


     A Swedish institute concludes there’s no evidence that the flu vaccine does anything in the over-65 population that opening windows and washing hands wouldn’t do, according to the results of a world-wide data review over a period of forty years of flu seasons.*

     What can one conclude from this review?  Perhaps

  • persons surviving six and a half decades have built up immunities to the flu
  • this population group has survived due to better genetics
  • the pharmaceutical companies are pushing the flu vaccine to increase their profits
  • the push for flu vaccinations should be replaced with education about disease prevention

       Although I’m not advocating flu prevention by hanging garlic around our necks (as suggested wryly in the article) I do believe that there is much we still do not know about the vaccine.

  • washing hands frequently
  • not shaking hands with the general population
  • eating a well-rounded diet
  • exercising

        Suffering from the flu is not a pleasant experience, as I can attest to. However, those persons who determine what flu will hit the population and thereby what vaccines to administer are at best doing so through the use of educated guessing. And, like predicting the weather, there is usually room for error.

      Alas, that is my take on the flu vaccine.   


*Sunday pops, February 2010, Greensburg Tribune-Review Some suggested precautions for the flu season



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