This Year's Flu Shot Isn't Protecting Seniors
It helps in just 9% of cases, says CDC
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2013 6:18 PM CST
A senior gets a flu shot in Brooklyn last month.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

(Newser) – Senior citizens who got the flu shot this year needn't have bothered, reports USA Today. For those ages 65 and older, this year's vaccine helped in just 9% of cases against the predominant strain, a percentage deemed to be statistically insignificant by the CDC. Factoring in all ages, the vaccine helped in 56% of cases, which is on the low side historically, reports Reuters.

"We simply need a better vaccine against influenza, one that works better and lasts longer," says CDC chief Thomas Frieden. Vaccines are generally less effective in older people, but that's not enough to explain the poor showing among seniors, whose hospitalization rates for the flu this year have been especially high, reports AP.

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Feb 22, 2013 10:42 AM CST
Maybe what we really need is a better understanding of how the flu virus and other pathogens actually function. Our immune systems are not just a bunch of white cells running around getting the bad guys, but is a complex symbiotic relationship with fungi and bacteria working to complement our immune system. There are some probiotics that turn into pathogens if they some how end up in the wrong body part - such as when a person has leaky gut syndrome. I wouldn't be surprised if one day someone discovers that flu viruses actually have probiotic characteristics but that it turns pathogenic in people with certain preexisting conditions.
Feb 22, 2013 7:33 AM CST
If you work in a hospital and don't get a flu shot (as well as every other vaccine designed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases), you are an idiot and should be terminated immediately.
Bill Inaz
Feb 22, 2013 5:45 AM CST
It's not about whether or not it "works". It's becoming to be about whether or not you're part of the "community" or not.