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Flu Vaccines Will Be Enough For Half The Population - So Who Should Get Them?

Discussion in 'Microbiology' started by Egyptian Doctor, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    While the CDC is advising everyone to get a flu shot, vaccine makers say this is not
    necessarily true - some people may not need a repeat shot. Whoever is right,
    even with record production for this coming fall, only half the US population
    will be able to get vaccinated.

    Vaccine makers say this season's shot
    will be a duplicate of last year's. This is because the same flu strains are
    circulating. If this is the case, young, healthy individuals may still be immune
    from last season's shot and may not need a booster.

    It is inevitable that
    members of the public will become confused and frustrated with conflicting
    advice. Government health officials say that the protection offered by one
    season's shot can diminish rapidly -especially for frail, elderly people, as
    well as those with weakened immune systems.

    Earlier this month, five
    vaccine makers said they plan to produce from 166 to 173 million flu vaccine
    doses for the coming influenza season, surpassing the previous record
    by 6 million.

    Americans are taking flu shots in ever growing numbers;
    over the last ten months over 40% of the population has been vaccinated,
    compared to 30% in previous years.

    The CDC (Centers for Disease Control
    and Prevention) has been aggressively promoting flu shots as a public health
    priority. It says everyone should be vaccinated, except for children under 6
    months of age, individuals with egg allergies, and some other conditions. The
    emergence of swine flu in 2009 probably triggered another
    rush for shots.

    US authorities have become more aggressive in promoting
    flu shots than their European counterparts.

    Health authorities tend to
    use the changing flu strains argument when encouraging people to get vaccinated.
    As the same strains as last year are expected to be circulating this coming
    fall, many experts say that not everyone necessarily needs two consecutive years
    of shots.

    The CDC says that at the best of times, flu shots are only
    about 70% effective. Repeat shots should be given to as many people as possible
    to protect a whole population, they say.

    Studies do not seem to agree on
    how quickly a flu shot's protection starts to wane. According to the CDC, one's
    immunity drops by at least 66% over a year. Other studies suggest that in
    children protection last for up to three years, and at least one year in
    adults.

    The truth is nobody, not even the experts, really know how long
    protection lasts.

    If nobody is really sure, surely the best bet is to
    vaccinate as many people as possible.

    Source : Flu Vaccines Will Be Enough For Half The Population - So Who Should Get Them?
     

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