Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Flu Shot Doing Poor Job of Protecting Older People This Year

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the thanks-geritol dept.

Medicine 205

New submitter Gunilla sends this news from an AP report: "It turns out this year's flu shot is doing a startlingly dismal job of protecting older people, the most vulnerable age group. The vaccine is proving only 9 percent effective in those 65 and older against the harsh strain of the flu that is predominant this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Health officials are baffled as to why this is so. But the findings help explain why so many older people have been hospitalized with the flu this year. Despite the findings, the CDC stood by its recommendation that everyone over 6 months get flu shots, the elderly included, because some protection is better than none, and because those who are vaccinated and still get sick may suffer less severe symptoms." An anonymous reader adds information about a new drug that treats influenza by hijacking its own infection mechanism. The compound "binds to an enzyme on the surface of the flu virus called neuraminidase. This enzyme is responsible for severing the connection between the flu virus and human cell so it can move on and infect other cells. The new class of drugs — DFSAs — permanently bind to the enzyme, blocking its action and stopping it from spreading further, the journal Science reported (abstract). Currently available antivirals also work by attaching to this enzyme. But DFSAs do so in such a way that the flu virus cannot evolve to be resistant to the drug without rendering itself useless."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

And if that evidence isn't enough (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42980897)

Here's [imgur.com] what the mercury-laden shots actually do once inside you

Re:And if that evidence isn't enough (0)

cgimusic (2788705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981017)

Fuck you.

Re: And if that evidence isn't enough (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981893)

There's a weird bug on the mobile view where if you click show comment it clicks the link automatically! argh. I had avoided seeing that site for over a decade and now I saw it twice, bleugh! (Please fix mobile view?)

Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42980981)

The CDC just keeps shooting themselves in the foot. Admit the problem and QUIT telling everyone to get the flu shot every year. It doesn't work as advertised and should not be relied on a the main defense against the flu.

- Cochrane Review - Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults
http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD001269/vaccines-to-prevent-influenza-in-healthy-adults-

- Dr Lisa Jackson's out of season influenza vaccine research
http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/2/337.short

Using the proper tools for the job is very important and vaccines work best against stable targets like smallpox. Against the influenza virus it is a total joke. They go to manufacturing in June/July and the flu has 3-6 months to mutate and they wonder why it fails? Give it up. It does not work.

The more the CDC promotes something that clearly does not work the more people are going to throw out the baby with the bathwater and think that they are lying about all vaccines. Good to hear there are some advances in stopping the flu because the current approach has been a total failure.

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981067)

This is a virus, your two main options are to either have people avoid human contact or give them a vaccination. Sure, things like washing hands might help a bit, but ultimately, there aren't a lot of options for something like the flu.

What's more, you're ignoring the fact that this year it worked for 9% of the people over 65 who got it. That's really not a good number, but it's better than zero and ignores the other people who received the vaccination as well.

The fallacy of "Any is better" (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981181)

What's more, you're ignoring the fact that this year it worked for 9% of the people over 65 who got it.

And YOU are ignoring the increased risk of exposure to flu people have by going to wherever the flu shot is administered.

That 9% number does not stand in a vacuum. There are many other factors and with that protection number being so low, to me it makes little sense to go somewhere and risk greater exposure to other people from which you would get the flu to begin with.

Re:The fallacy of "Any is better" (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981397)

No, I'm not ignoring that. If they knew what the efficacy rate was like without administering the injections, that would be a completely different thing. But, you can't sit there with the numbers from the real world and judge the doctors for not having access to them before they even existed.

I said, that 9% isn't a good number, but pretending like they were giving these shots out knowing that whom they would and would not work for is just plain wrong. You're also assuming that these people are shut ins. If they were shut ins, then there would be no point in vaccinating them as they wouldn't be exposed to the flu in the first place. For the folks that actually go outside, they're already going to be exposed, suggesting that this is represents a greater exposure is just the typical anti-vaccs bullshit.

Re:The fallacy of "Any is better" (0)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981753)

They know the number NOW and yet they advise getting the shot anyway,. They no longer have the (valid) excuse of not knowing how ineffective it is.

Re:The fallacy of "Any is better" (2)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981847)

And your point is? All the high risk people were vaccinated probably 3 or 4 months ago, anybody that still hasn't been vaccinated probably doesn't really need to be vaccinated anyways.

Changing the advice now that pretty much everybody who's going to be vaccinated has been vaccinated just encourages anti-vax efforts with little or no medical gain. What's more, it takes time for changes to the recommendations to filter out.

Re:The fallacy of "Any is better" (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982161)

YOU said that had they known, it would be a completely different thing.

Now, they do know, they are not changing their recommendation at all, so according to you it is a completely different thing.

Re:The fallacy of "Any is better" (1)

Shaman (1148) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981409)

+1

Re:The fallacy of "Any is better" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981427)

The real takeaway is that it's ~50% effective in the rest of the population. If you come into contact with old people (or really young babies) you really should get the vaccine, as much for them as yourself. If everyone else was vaccinated, then you might be right that old people would be almost as safe not getting it. (Though I doubt that going once to your local pharmacy, where you might be going anyway, is going to significantly increase your likelihood of catching flu.)

Re:The fallacy of "Any is better" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981455)

What's more, you're ignoring the fact that this year it worked for 9% of the people over 65 who got it.

And YOU are ignoring the increased risk of exposure to flu people have by going to wherever the flu shot is administered.

That 9% number does not stand in a vacuum. There are many other factors and with that protection number being so low, to me it makes little sense to go somewhere and risk greater exposure to other people from which you would get the flu to begin with.

This is such crap, you can get the flu shot merely by going to the same places you were already going:
- work (most places have free clinics that come by, they're announced to all businesses in the area well in advance)
- the grocery store
- your family doctor for whatever other reason you were already going

You make it sound like you have to go stand in the center of a plague quarantine to get the flu shot. Seriously, how do you live your life that even a special trip your doctor for a shot constitutes some great additional risk of exposure? Your greatest risk has always been and will always be improperly handled food at a restaurant, so quit scaring people with your uninformed crap, please.

Re:The fallacy of "Any is better" (1, Insightful)

daem0n1x (748565) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981837)

And YOU are ignoring the increased risk of exposure to flu people have by going to wherever the flu shot is administered.

And YOU are ignoring the increased risk of exposure to flu people have by going to anywhere where there are people.

Re:The fallacy of "Any is better" (1)

The_PS4_Will_Fail (2847449) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982073)

There are many other factors and with that protection number being so low, to me it makes little sense to go somewhere and risk greater exposure to other people from which you would get the flu to begin with.

You mean like Walmart? Where people are going anyway?

The two options are not (1) get a flu shot in a den of other filthy humans with disease or (2) don't get the flu shot and avoid all human contact.

The places people get the flu shot are the same places that people are going.

Makes no difference. (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982163)

And YOU are ignoring the increased risk of exposure to flu people have by going to wherever the flu shot is administered.

The most common vaccinations are now readilly available everywhere people gather.

Schools, colleges, churches and community centers of every description.

The supermarket and general merchandise big box retailer like Walmart and Target.

Rite Aid, Walgreens. and countless other neighborhood drug stores.

Physician's offices, outpatient clinics, and hospitals.

Group homes. Nursing homes.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981707)

Insisting that people stay home when they get the flu (and insisting that employers allow it) would actually reduce the incidence of flu quite a bit.

Meanwhile, note that 9% effective doesn't mean 9% of the people who jot their jabs avoided the flu. It means that the people who got the jab were 9% less likely to get the flu. So, if 1000 people got the shot and they stood a 10% chance (unvaccinated) of getting the flu, 9 people total avoided getting sick.

Put another way, By getting the shot, there was a nine tenths of one percent chance that it would prevent a case of the flue they were otherwise destined for.

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982191)

Way to ignore the important part of this. For the rest of people it was 50% reduction meaning lots of those oldsters avoided it because others got immunized.

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982515)

It was a 50% reduction of about 10% so, 5%.

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981743)

It worked for me, I'm 60 and didn't get the flu.

And I didn't even get a flu shot!

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42982409)

You're likely also getting a free dose of mercury, formaldehyde, and/or MSG with that shot. I'd take my chances without one.

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (4, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981107)

Got a better idea, bozo? No? Thought not.

The influenza vaccines are the best tool that we have. It's a lousy tool, but oh well, play the hand that you're dealt.

And before somebody goes off on and thinks this is Scary New News, influenza vaccine has ALWAYS sucked on infants and older people. Precisely the people that the virus wreaks the most havoc on and likely for the same reason (poorly developed or worn out immune system). This year's vaccine seems to do particularly poorly on the strain of B that we've been seeing. But you never really know how good or bad the vaccine does in any given year until you can tally up all the statistics and look at previous years (and fudge a few numbers).

The bigger news is that Tamiflu is really worse than it was made out to be [bmj.com] (which wasn't so hot to begin with). The usual suspects - money and political influence (but I repeat myself).

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (-1, Redundant)

toiletsalmon (309546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981971)

Got a better idea, bozo?

I do actually. Try this:

-Removing harmful pesticides from our food chain
-Removing chemicals from our water supply
-Remove things like petroleum-derived food coloring and other bullshit from our food
-Cut back on the excessive use of processed sugars and grains from our diets
-Exercise regularly

Collectively, our immune systems are shitty because we feed ourselves with shitty fuel and then wonder why we're all sick and crazy. A healthy body means a healthy immune system which means less sickness of ALL TYPES.

You want to avoid the flu? Keep your body healthy and wash your hands. Millions of years of evolution are more effective than a buch of vaccines made from questionable materials, under questionable manufacturing circumstances, and being monitored by a government agency that was probably bought and sold to the pharmaceutical industry decades ago.

Our, you know, continue to throw money at big pharma and have another double cheeseburger and a Coke. I'm sure they and their lobbyists have your best interest in mind.

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (5, Insightful)

The_PS4_Will_Fail (2847449) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982099)

Millions of years of evolution are more effective than a buch of vaccines made from questionable materials, under questionable manufacturing circumstances, and being monitored by a government agency that was probably bought and sold to the pharmaceutical industry decades ago.

Our, you know, continue to throw money at big pharma and have another double cheeseburger and a Coke. I'm sure they and their lobbyists have your best interest in mind.

Is that how you avoided polio? Better living through exercise and eating broccoli?

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42982209)

How is "toiletsalmon" supposed to feel superior to other people without making some kind of moral judgement against their behaviors? And how else will he simultaneously be able to blame large entities like Big Business and The Government for being sick unless he can blame it on all the "chemicals" in the water supply (rofl DHMO). Of course he knows better! Otherwise he'd be wrong, and nobody wants to be wrong.

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42982567)

Too bad there is no evidence to support any of that crap. Millions of years of evolutions ensures that the viruses get past our immune systems naturally, and it requires an unnatural act to defeat it. Nothing is wrong with healthy living, but suggesting that it will eradicate the flu like it did for smallpox is both illogical and not supported by any significant evidence. Unfortunately, it looks like you are a victim of marketing, and don't even know it.

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (1, Funny)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981953)

No kidding. I'm forced to get the flu shot every year. Right after they squirt it into my nose I thank them, grab a tissue, walk out, and blow my nose. Never been sick with flu like symptoms until this year when I thought I was going to die from mucous clogging my head holes.

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (1)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982263)

I ask this question earnestly, as I'm not a biologist/virologist and don't claim to fully understand the mechanisms of infection and transmission.

That said, under what pressure is the flu virus mutating as to avoid this vaccine? That is, why would a flu virus six months from now produce markedly different antibodies than one today? Certainly, some random chance must factor in, but assuming there's no selection pressure until the time at which the vaccine is deployed, shouldn't the vaccine work as well as it usually does?

Or does the flu virus commonly mutate significantly in very short timespans?

I get the flu now and then, but I don't remember the last time I got the flu twice in one season, so the mutation rate can't be that high and the mutation factor can't be that extreme. Or maybe it can, and the flu just sweeps through an area and then goes away?

Re:Quit promoting it when it doesn't work (1, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982339)

I agree they should tell the truth and the WHOLE truth but the simple fact is the ones who got the flu that had the shot (myself included) frankly didn't get all that sick, yes some folks ended up in the hospital but those were the ones that were already weak as hell to begin with, whereas those I saw who got the flu WITHOUT the shot ended up puking like a buzzard and had a hell of a time getting over it.

So I gotta agree both with the AC and the CDC, they need to tell folks that the shot alone isn't a magic bullet but at the same time having some immunity is better than none, especially if you aren't weak to begin with and will be able to fight it off. lets face it folks, somebody that is already immuno-compromised isn't gonna build up much in the way of antibodies even if you gave them a flu shot every week and there are a LOT of older folks out there that take meds that weaken the immune system, either on purpose as with the arthritis drugs or as a side effect so that too needs to be taken into account.

But I can tell you that I was sure as hell glad I got my flu shot when the worst I got was a fever of 101 and slightly sick at the stomach while those around me were at death's door for a good week and a half, mine only lasted 3 days and all I needed was a Z-Pac for the sinus infection I ended up with (which I get sinus infections at the drop of a hat so that was expected) and I was right as rain in less than 7 days, those around me that didn't have the shot were sick for a couple of weeks and felt weak for a good week or two after that.

What they still are not saying (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982445)

The shot is only "9% effective" in the older segment of the population that they claim "needs" it the most. What they really don't want to admit is that a placebo is 21% effective. Might cause a little too much attention to that flu shot.

Makes Sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42980983)

Old people already have a rich 'immunity memory' to protect them, vaccinations won't have much to add to that. The problem is more to do with generally weaker immune systems - give them some vitamin C instead.

Re:Makes Sense. (3, Interesting)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981189)

Vitamin C and vitamins in general are not some magic bullet against common illness.

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/vitamins_common_misconceptions?open [vic.gov.au]
http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/dietarysupplements/dietary-supplements-misconceptions [cancer.org]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/jul/18/medicineandhealth.sciencenews [guardian.co.uk]

Best research we got suggests if you take something like 1000mg a day at the start of a cold you can ease the effects, but you'll also develop nausea, headaches, and kidney stones.

So what's worse? runny nose of a kidney stone?

Re:Makes Sense. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981431)

"Best research we got suggests if you take something like 1000mg a day at the start of a cold you can ease the effects, but you'll also develop nausea, headaches, and kidney stones."

Sorry but 1000mg of Vit C during a cold will not cause kidney stones or headaches as I take half that much daily each flu season to avoid getting sick(I work with the elderly). I haven't been sick in years, and will never take a flu shot.

Vitamins alone aren't a magic bullet, Vitamins to supplement a healthy diet and active lifestyle are however. It's just unfortunate that most people still believe tripe like "vitamins aren't that good for you" that big pharma pumps out as fact(with studies such as the ones quoted here paid for by industry shills with degrees), and instead develop preventable diseases to make sure the Sickcare industry continues it's profits.

Re:Makes Sense. (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981539)

Ah, anecdote. The cure for the common data infestation.

Re:Makes Sense. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981593)

I suggest you remember that vitamins cannot be patented thus no drug company can make money off them...... I wonder if that has any bearing on studies funded by them saying they do not work? Not saying vitamins are magic just saying remember if someone cannot make money off it their is no reason for them to tell you it will work.

Re:Makes Sense. (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981611)

Not just an anecdote, but some pseudo-conspiracy theory.

> Big pharma is trying to keep us sick and anyone who says different is a paid shill.

Re:Makes Sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42982241)

At least you included pseudo, but it's really not a theory if you pay attention to whats going on or work in the health industry as I do.

Profits matter more than people in the for profit health care industry. I suggest you do some research on how we currently manage symptoms over promoting actual health(as in taking vitamins), because one actually makes money for a gigantic "too big to be wrong" industrial complex and the other just keeps people healthy.

Re:Makes Sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981681)

Cute, but sometimes data is at best misinterpreted, at worst deliberately deceiving. When profits matter more than individuals health and well being(as is the case in the US), data on these issues tends to get messy. I'll take what works for me over what someone says should work for me any day of the week.

Too much mutation... (2)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981003)

I for one got the flu twice, despite having had a shot. Each time I had different symptoms (including hypothermia) and was told it was a different strain of the virus.

Re:Too much mutation... (2)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981089)

And your point is? They need several months to produce the necessary doses and sometimes they get it wrong or it mutates in a significant way.

Also, this is a sample set of 2 doses and one person. The one time I got a flu shot, I wound up with basically every side effect except an allergic reaction, and would have been better off without it, but that doesn't mean that it isn't good in terms of herd immunity.

Re:Too much mutation... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981145)

Hypothermia isn't a typical Influenza symptom.

If you didn't get a nasal swab for Influenza then you probably didn't have influenza - clinical diagnoses just aren't very accurate (about 50% even in the face of an epidemic).

But you can get infected by more than one strain of influenza. Would be rather unusual, but it's possible.

Sucks to be you, I suppose.

Re:Too much mutation... (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981311)

I am recovering from what may be the flu right now. Or it may be just the common cold, I don't know. But it's really no big deal. Feel lousy for a day or 2, bookended by a few more days of annoying congestion and sneezing, and that's it. On the worst day, my gums were tender, my nose was flowing, and I felt tired and had sore muscles all over as if I'd done too much exercise. Used to get a flu strain every year as a child. Those always seemed to be stomach bugs that made you vomit, which is worse than any flu I've experienced as an adult. We're always hearing about deadly flu strains, and it always strikes me that those kings of drama in the media make more of it than is warranted.

I don't get flu shots myself. Seems there's always a shortage, and presumably the limited supplies should go to the frailer members of society, which is not me.

Re:Too much mutation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981595)

A real flu is more than feeling lousy for a day or two. If you can't get out of bed for 4-5 days, that's probably the flu. I had that a few years back, it sucked. I got the shot this year.

Re:Too much mutation... (1)

3.5 stripes (578410) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981693)

That ain't flu you wuss.

Flu will kick your ass for a few days, and when it finally passes, you'll be wrung out and without energy for at least that same amount of days again. Flu means thoughts like "kill me" seem reasonable, and getting up to go to the bathroom seems like a 10 mile hike up K2.

That's the flu, what you had was just a cold.

Re:Too much mutation... (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982413)

It depends on the person. However, it sounds like he just has a bad cold. It is easy to tell the difference. I've had mono (doctor diagnosed) once, the flu twice, and the pig flu (doctor diagnosed) once. Mono and the pig flu make you feel like you are going to die. My wife and I had the pig flu at the same time. I got over it in 2 days...it took her 2 weeks.

My first flu was a couple days and the 2nd time it lasted 1.5 days. After a subsequent night's sleep you should be good to go to work. You can't do intense physical labor or play basketball, but you are generally good to go.

I have a good immune system. I never take shots...haven't had a vaccine in 10+ years and never had the flu vaccine. I rarely ever take pain killers, let alone other crap. My body tears through diseases like paper.

Re:Too much mutation... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981789)

Used to get a flu strain every year as a child. Those always seemed to be stomach bugs that made you vomit

That wasn't the flu, it was a stomach bug of some kind; norovirus, salmonella, etc. Influenza is a respiratory disease. The only time flu makes you puke is when you cough so hard and uncontrollably that the coughing triggers the vomiting. If you don't have a deep, wet cough with a fever and chills, you don't have the flu.

Re:Too much mutation... (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982273)

I for one got the flue twice, despite not having a shot.

Sometimes it helps kill you (-1, Troll)

transporter_ii (986545) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981151)

I have a relative that just died because she had a reaction to the flu shot and it killed her. So, yeah, when it not only isn't working but also killing people, it is doubly bad.

Re:Sometimes it helps kill you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981403)

I think the problem is that people take an obviously true statement like

1. Modern medicine and technology can work miracles (compared to the olden days)

and equate this with a decidedly untrue, dangerous, and unprovable statement like

2. Modern medicine and technology should always be trusted

Let's consider that human beings are behind every instance of modern medicine and technology. So let's rephrase those statements accordingly:

1. Human beings can work miracles (compared to the olden days)

Would anyone like to equate that obviously true statement with

2. Human beings should always be trusted

Anyone? Bueller?

Re:Sometimes it helps kill you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981413)

Since I can find only one report of a death from a flu shot, ever, which unfortunately comes from a biased site, I am sorry for your loss of your 7 year old girl named Kaylynne (I hope if you try for another child you use a dictionary and check the correct spelling for the name, though--it will definitely save everyone a lot of grief):

http://vactruth.com/2012/01/14/dies-in-mothers-arms/

Re:Sometimes it helps kill you (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982475)

Statistics doesn't care about single data points, Flu shot saves lives.

If a family member had an adverse reaction, I would question getting it myself, but for the average person, go ahead.

The flu shot is hokum anyway. (-1, Troll)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981165)

I have received the flu shot 3 times and every time came down with the flu within 72 hours. Since then I have never gotten the flu shot and have also never gotten the flu as a result of my prudence.

Please don't jibber jabber some bullshit study funded by either big Parma or a doctor or university on big pharma's take at me either, I am not interested. Judging by the incredibly ridiculous advertising hype these past few years, it looks like more people are catching onto the scam called flu shots as well.

Re:The flu shot is hokum anyway. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981313)

If you came down with the flu within 72 hours, you got the shot too late each and every time. You do not have much protection yet within 1 or 2 days of receiving the shot, and that's all the time your body had to get to know the flu shot since you usually don't show signs of infection until a day or two after getting most diseases.

As such, you're just blaming the wrong things. I would suggest you get the flu shot as early as you can, since you seem to be in a rather infected environment, so you can maximize your protection.

Re:The flu shot is hokum anyway. (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981933)

And yet when he stopped getting the shot, he stopped getting the flu at all. It could be a million to one coincidence or it could be that he was having a reaction to the vaccine that is nearly indistinguishable form the flu. My bet is on the latter.

Re:The flu shot is hokum anyway. (4, Insightful)

nblender (741424) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981343)

My wife, my son, and I have received the flu shot at least 10 times each and none of us have ever come down with the flu so using your logic, I can confirm that the flu shot is 100% effective...

Or perhaps your logic is wrong and your data points probably fabricated.

Re:The flu shot is hokum anyway. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981411)

I have never had a flu shot and have not had the flu since i was 6. I am now 24, Just because you have not got it since taking the shot does not mean it saved you. This is why science uses double blind studies multiple times not just people randomly saying how much they think something did or did not work.

Just to clarify I am not agreeing with either of you, in fact I think that both comments mean nothing.

Re:The flu shot is hokum anyway. (4, Funny)

neminem (561346) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981773)

Until last year, I had never gotten a flu shot, or the flu (at least, like you, not since I was a kid). Last year, my girlfriend made me get a flu shot, and I also haven't gotten a flu. Therefore, I can state that getting a flu shot is 100% effective, not getting a flu shot is also 100% effective, and the best way to prevent getting a flu is "don't be a kid".

Re:The flu shot is hokum anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981801)

The logic here is perfectly sound :) I like it. The only way to stop humans from getting the flu is to kill all the kids before they get it. I will see you later tonight behind the school, bring your bat.

Re:The flu shot is hokum anyway. (-1, Troll)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981471)

I would guess that, instead, you're a marketing shill employed by big pharma hired to push a dangerous, adjuvant-laden mystery shot. Right?

Flu shots are dubious, and the proof is that in many European nations, they do not recommend them at all, and their flu incidence is similar to the USA's.

Might want to do some checking on actual data points, not just those pushed by US-based big pharmacorps.

Re:The flu shot is hokum anyway. (3, Insightful)

nblender (741424) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981731)

Yet more displays of terrible logic on your part. My data points disagree with yours, therefore I must be a big-pharma shill...

Laying it out in plain english: You used 3 data points to conclude the flu shot was bullshit. I countered with 10 equally useless data points that conflicted with yours. You throw a hissy fit.

Re:The flu shot is hokum anyway. (-1, Troll)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982229)

No, no, forget logic. Mine's no worse than yours, anyway - and probably much better, depending on which authority you intend to appeal to. I appeal to the authority of European health care systems and academic institutions, whom do not recommend flu shots, and you are appealing to American big pharmacorps, and their pet academics, who say, oh yeah you need a flu shot.

Of course, you have no real way to respond to this so you go off and throw a little fit of your own.

Flu shots don't work, they are bullshit, and the entire top level of the CDC is infested with pharma shills and people who (or whose spouses) are heavily invested in big pharma, or work for big pharma, or worked for big farma and will work for them once their tenure in gubberment is over.

Trust the machine, little one. it's looking out for you!

Re:The flu shot is hokum anyway. (2)

3.5 stripes (578410) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981713)

Mmm, big Parma.. great cheese and cured ham there.

This is why homeopathy is better than science (5, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981167)

With homeopathy, there is no need to test the results of taking a substance, putting it in water, then constantly diluting the amount of that substance in the water until there is only one molecule of that substance left in the water. Because water has such great memory, it "remembers" the powerful healing abilities of the substance while completely forgetting all the urine, feces, saliva and other bodily fluids the water has come in contact with.

Because of this miraculous memory, that one molecule has more healing and restorative powers than the most powerful, science-based vaccines, vaccines which do nothing except make people sick and keep big pharma rolling in the money like they do for afflictions such as smallpox, rinderpest and polio.

Unlike traditional science-based vaccines, homeopathic medicines can be done in the safety of your own home. No need to get doctors involved with their 8-10 years of medical training and untold hours of visiting patients, doing research and consulting with other so-called "medical experts". One can dispense with such safety protocols because no matter what, homeopathic medicines have been rigorously tested under the most stringent conditions including having a crystal suspended above them while the dilution occurs.

Not once has any side effect ever occurred from taking a homeopathic medicine. That one molecule in the water won't let it happen because of the exponential power it has from being the sole piece left of the original substance.

So do yourself a favor and pass on traditional vaccines and medicines. Homeopathic cures are the wave of the future, able to solve the world's medical ills in a single glass of water. It's only because the medical community doesn't want you to take matters into your own hands bypass the time-tested methods of science-based medical trials that homeopathy has such a bad rap.

Ignore the naysayers, the ones whose ills have been cured by Western medicine, they're just anomalies. Homeopathy is where it's at.

Re:This is why homeopathy is better than science (4, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981385)

Either I touched a nerve with the homeopathic community or the mods don't understand the subtlety of sarcasm.

Re:This is why homeopathy is better than science (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981565)

No subtle sarcasm allowed here. Sorry. Requires too much thought, common sense and reading comprehension.

You might try it on /b/, I heard they're quite a notch up on typical Slashdotters.

Re:This is why homeopathy is better than science (3, Informative)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981747)

Well, you clearly understand nothing about homeopathy. You think it's about diluting until there is "only one molecule of that substance left in the water." But, at proper homeopathic dilutions of 10^100:1 (100 10x dilutions), you wouldn't have one molecule left among all the other matter in the universe. No wonder homeopathy gets a bad reputation, when quacks are handing out dangerously under-diluted mixtures with an entire molecule remaining --- that'll screw up all the imprinted energy resonances!

Re:This is why homeopathy is better than science (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981839)

Yes, I know what homeopathy is really about. I decided to do the one molecule part to show how absurd it is rather than trying to come up with a good example of how many millions of gallons one would have to go through to find that one molecule after the dilution.

I'm still waiting for the homeopath folks to tell me how wrong I am about the description, that they don't use crystals.

Re:This is why homeopathy is better than science (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981995)

I personally think that the only notion more absurd than "one molecule to cure your ills" is "zero molecules to cure your ills." Any weakly plausible babble about bodily reactions to extremely low concentrations of biologically active materials is rendered in its full absurdist glory when the claims persist at concentrations of 0.

Of course, this is all a conspiracy to obscure knowledge of the true homeopathic elixer of immortality: humble tap water. Thanks to Gaia's hydrological cycles, here you can find the perfect homeopathic dilution of every powerful substance known and unknown to man --- Socrate's hemlock; venom of Cleopatra's asp; piss of the 12 Apostles after the Last Supper; etc. etc. There is no more potent homeopathic cure-all!

Re:This is why homeopathy is better than science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981591)

I for one think this is damn funny.

A couple corrections however:

There is not one molecule left in the water, at their dilution rates there are no water molecules.

You should have mentioned something about magically not remembering all the poo it's come in contact with?

Re:This is why homeopathy is better than science (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982115)

That one molecule in the water won't let it happen because of the exponential power it has from being the sole piece left of the original substance.

So what you're saying is that molecules are ninja, and thus must obey the Conservation of Ninjutsu [tvtropes.org] law.

It's Fun To Play With Mother Nature (1)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981171)

Should we could keep this up until population-leveling killer flu strains evolve? That would be fun!

Or should we just stop now and deal with our little flu bouts like grown-ups? Nah, that's no fun. We'd miss all the media coverage on TPC - The Pandemic Channel!

Re:It's Fun To Play With Mother Nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981273)

Are you retarded? Why would you think that vaccines are causing the flu to mutate? It does that on its own.

Re:It's Fun To Play With Mother Nature (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981379)

Or should we just stop now and deal with our little flu bouts like grown-ups?

Considering it kills 24,000 people a year in the US, I'm not sure I'd characterize it as a "little bout" that you can just "deal with like a grown-up".

Re:It's Fun To Play With Mother Nature (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981983)

Not to belittle the lives lost, but traffic accidents cause about twice as many deaths annually. Mandatory telecommuting would put a huge dent in that figure but it isn't happening for some reason.

Re:It's Fun To Play With Mother Nature (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982187)

I agree; automobile accidents are one place where relatively cheap changes could save a lot of lives. It's not an either-or situation, though.

Re:It's Fun To Play With Mother Nature (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982481)

No, but it does reveal a bit about priorities.

It's also notable that more telecommuting would put a dent in the flu as well. A couple years ago when the fear mongering was at a high froth, not once did any authority suggest avoiding crowded malls.

It seems that inconveniencing employers = no way. Denting holiday shopping = no way. Having the peons spend some bux for a barely effective vaccination = GOTTA DO IT!

Re:It's Fun To Play With Mother Nature (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981401)

I agree with P2TC. I believe this is big pharma selling us something that does not work. The majority of the people that take the shot end up sick within 72 hours. What ends up happening is the flu is mutating at a much faster pace and as stated will eventually turn into the super flu.

Look at the statistics. Not once has the pharmaceutical industry got the right strain of flu to vaccinate the people against the one that is hitting the population. Even this year is the same story.

All they are doing with snake oil is throwing a dart at a board and hoping while raking in BILLIONS of dollars.

Our bodies get stronger by battling these viruses and building their own immunity. How many people do you know that constantly bathe themselves in that purell antiseptic alcohol but are ALWAYS sick. Their immune systems are being depleted by that stuff and as a result makes them susceptible to illness. Ask any doctors that knows anything, they will tell you the truth.

One last thing, why do most doctors and nurses refuse to take the vaccine???

Sheep....

Re:It's Fun To Play With Mother Nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981559)

Let me ask you a simple question. Would *not* having a flu vaccine somehow prevent the influenze virus from evolving?

Re:It's Fun To Play With Mother Nature (1)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982113)

To the virulent detractors of my parent post:

a) everything mutates, ergo this argument is moot
b) n the case where vaccines are voluntary, and not administered to the population as a whole, they do promote resistant strains. See http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=vaccine-resistant+strain&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ei=57YnUeTYNITc8wTl9IDQCg&ved=0CDEQgQMwAA [google.com]
c) "retarded" is a relative assessment. Compared to what?

Waste of money (1)

Tridus (79566) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981289)

Just how much money is being spent on flu shots each year? At 9% effectiveness, is the value for dollar really there?

At some point the CDC has to fess up to reality - their preferred method of telling everyone to get a shot that doesn't work isn't a good idea. The longer they try to pretend it is, the more money will be wasted and the more people will be convinced that the CDC is full of shit.

Re:Waste of money (1, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981491)

It's 9% effectiveness against one of the strains in one age group. It's 56% effective in general. This year's effectiveness is particularly low relative to other years, so isn't representative of "value for dollar", which should use effectiveness averaged across multiple years.

Very rough back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that the cost of saving lives through flu vaccines is on the order of a few tens of thousands of dollars per life. By insurance calculation standards, that makes it worthwhile.

Financially responsible (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982513)

I actually considered this once. I don't pay anything directly because it's a "covered" item in my health plan, but I would pay $25 out of pocket if I got one. So here goes:

When I was younger - in my 20s& 30s I got a flu - or flu-like symptoms requiring I miss work for 3 or more days - four times. I started getting the flu vaccine about 8 years ago, and I haven't had the flu for about 11 or 12 years.

Let's say my typical chance is once every 5 years. (4x in 20 years). If I were only to get the flu once every 10 years (56% effective in my target age group), that means that, on average I will miss 3 days less of work in 10 years. I'm a consultant, so I bill $150/hr, and I get nothing if I don't work. Whether I show up at the office or not, I pay for rent, electricity, licensing, insurance, etc. So...3 days at 6 billable hours in a typical day is $2700 is lost income (note I'm not counting the 3-4 hours of admin time a day, which is all rolled into those billable hours). $2700 a year over ten years is $270 a year, or an 11:1 payback on my "investment" of $25. As a bonus, I don't end up paying for a doctors visit, or for medications, or for the general crappiness I feel, or take the chance that my wife and daughter are then more likely to get it as well. Break even, without medication costs and such, would be around $13.60/hr.

If it were the worst case of 9% if I were over 65 and still working, then we're really talking statistical, but that would mean a theoretical reduction of 18 hrs/5yrs*9% = $49 a year return on a $25 flu shot, plus the above associated effects and medical costs, and the chance of dying from the flu because I'm just old and more likely to get a secondary infection.

Partially Effective? (1)

Copper Nikus (1615089) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981361)

I had the flu shot this year and still got the flu a couple months later. However it was a mild case of flu, so I think the vaccine did some good. I go to the gym regularly several times a week and take exercise classes as well as use the exercise machines. In the exercise clases I am exposed to plenty of sweaty and less than sterile mats, dumbells, balance balls, etc, and we lay on the floors a lot. Perhaps it was unrealistic to think a vacine could completely protect me from that much exposure to germs.

Re:Partially Effective? (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982449)

Also, note that heavy exercise depresses the immune system, which makes you more likely to get the flu once exposed. (Exercise is still worth it for all the other benefits it gives you.)

You might do well by not exercising for the week after getting the flu shot -- it takes a week or two before the immunization takes hold. But it doesn't sound as if this would have helped in your case.

Is this science? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981387)

Unless we can turn back time and redo something, along with a control group, this isn't exactly something where the cause can be pinpointed.

How many people who are 65+ and didn't take the vaccine were infected?
How many 65+ got the vaccine and were infected?
How many 65+ got the vaccine and were not infected?
How many 65+ had what specific vaccine?
What geographic areas had people 65+ that were infected, and the same for those not infected?
Which provider company did those who got the vaccine and did/did not become infected receive it from?
What manufacturing company was associated with the vaccines of those who were infected and those who were not infected?
What were the dates, batch numbers, and lot numbers of those who were infected and not infected and were 65+?

The questions just go on and on and on.

Maybe the older are just less healthy this year. Maybe the solar cycle has something to do with it. Maybe the weather. Perhaps the virus' enzyme has mutated and this is a point of concern. By chance the virus has mutated and it was a complete fluke.

You know not to get off topic but it's a good reference point: The closest asteroid pass to Earth happened on the same day as the completely unrelated largest meteor entry and air burst of this century. Shit happens.

Flue Shot, A Roll of the Dice (1)

dontgetshocked (1073678) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981453)

It seems that where you get your shot is the key.Some places just have gotten bad doses of the stuff. Real case scenario to back this up unfortunately.

On the arrogance of science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981461)

"But DFSAs do so in such a way that the flu virus cannot evolve to be resistant to the drug without rendering itself useless"

Anyone else get Jurrasic Park flashbacks reading this?

Whiners are us (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981505)

"I got the Flu shot and I had a Flu for 72 hours!" or "it only works 9% of the time? Big Pharm SUCKS!" Sorry to hear that your 80 year-old grandma had a fever after getting a flu shot. but people take too much stuff for granted.

It was not that long ago that the Spanish Flu [wikipedia.org] wiped out millions of people. If want something more recent visit Africa. They only had 550,000+ deaths for malaria [nydailynews.com] .

If you something worth while, post it. Otherwise people don't care you got a flu shot and got sick anyways; stuff happens, grow up.

Re:Whiners are us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981725)

Otherwise people don't care you got a flu shot and got sick anyways; stuff happens, grow up.

If you're trying to completely dismiss objections to the efficacy of this vaccine, that's not good enough. Most of my co-workers who have children in elementary and middle school go and get the flu shot every year. It doesn't prevent them from getting sick or transmitting it to me. Sure, the plural of anecdote is not data, but personally, I'd like to see data that would convince me that going to get a flu shot, even if it's free, is even worthwhile. Repeating the same behavior and expecting different results is called insanity.

As far as I can tell the data supporting the flu shot are only a little less flimsy than the data supporting circumcision. Even though I'm circumcised and lived through some severe complications, I'd be insane to go to a brothel in Africa without a condom and expect that I wouldn't get HIV, and if I had HPV, a woman would be insane to have sex with me and expect that my genital mutilation alone would protect her. To wit, it may work in some dry, statistical percentage point here percentage point there sense, but there are much more effective countermeasures.

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've got millions of little nanomachines in my blood called lymphocytes that do a pretty good job of adapting to whatever flu strain gets sent their way. At worst, I may have to stand in line and sign the "I'm not going to make meth with this, promise!" waiver to get a decongestant (sorry, phenylphrine is not effective for me, and there's some data to back up the fact that others like me that need pseudophedrene to alliterative congestion aren't just crank hypochondriacs).

Complete Scam (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981513)

Flu shots are a complete scam. They do nothing to prevent the flu.

Ask Donald (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981605)

Donald Rumsfeld can tell you all about flu vaccines. After all, he made the majority of his fortune while he was the Defense Secretary - thanks to his shares in Gilead Sciences, which developed Tamiflu and licensed it to Roche. The US ultimately persuaded over 60 countries to mass-purchase the vaccine. Classy.

Re:Ask Donald (1)

compro01 (777531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982035)

Tamiflu is not a vaccine.

Re:Ask Donald (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982089)

Tamiflu is NOT a vaccine.

9% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981697)

9% now and 80% when it's the next black death...
please continue spreading ignorance, sure the regular flu-shot is pointless but that money pays for researching EVERYTHING you ignorant DUMB IDIOT BRAIN DEAD ZOMBIE DOUCHE!!

Re:9% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42981715)

can't swear, replace douche with cunt, shit, ass, anal, twat faced butt munch-er, or any of that sort of language -___-

It's those snotty grandchildren (0)

fonske (1224340) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981775)

During an interview about the Flu shot a professor went completely in defensive mode when asked about reported low efficiency of the Flu shot given to elderly: "This is typical Belgian. It's oh so cosy to visit grandma and grandpa with the snotty grandchildren that are cuddled all the time. In other countries children are not even allowed in an old people's home."
Maybe we try to find a shortcut to inheritance professor?

9% isn't so bad. (1)

Graydyn Young (2835695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42981925)

Although %9 for personal protection isn't so hot, I still see why the CDC isstill pushing for vaccination. To avoid epidemic reproduction of the virus, we need to keep the rate of reproduction below one new infection per individual already infected. In that sense, even just %9 immunity could have a large impact on a group. Wikipedia has a good read on this subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_modelling_of_infectious_disease [wikipedia.org]

Not news (1)

compro01 (777531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42982071)

Yes, administering flu vaccines to seniors is of little use. We know this. Their immune systems aren't able to mount an effective response to the vaccine and develop proper immunity.

What you need to do is vaccinate everyone around them (Families, caregivers, etc.) and protect them via herd immunity.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?