A study released today by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows shockingly low rates of effectiveness for this year’s flu vaccine.
According to the report, the flu vaccine was effective for only 9% of seniors over 65 years old. In other words, 91% of seniors in the study who were vaccinated were still susceptible to getting the flu.
The CDC showed somewhat better results for younger persons. They claimed that the flu vaccine was effective for 58% of those aged 6 months-17 years, 46% for persons aged 18–49 years, and 50% for persons aged 50–64 years.
Overall, the CDC claimed this year’s flu vaccine was “moderately effective” and made the unprovable claim that “influenza vaccination reduced the risk for medical visits resulting from influenza A and B by 56%.”
It seems that the figure for seniors is far more accurate as to the actual effectiveness of the vaccine precisely because they have weaker immune systems.
One would think these dismal numbers should dampen the CDC’s enthusiasm for flu vaccines, but it seems to have done just the opposite. The CDC claims that the figures for younger adults “confirm the benefits” and “offers further support” for annual flu vaccines.
The editors of the report state:
Confirmation of the protective benefits of the 2012–13 influenza vaccine among persons aged 6 months–64 years offers further support for the public health benefit of annual seasonal influenza vaccination and supports the expansion of vaccination, particularly among younger age groups.
The CDC called the woefully low effectiveness in seniors “nonsignificant”, only that it “reinforces the need for continued advances in influenza vaccines,” and that “vaccines remain the best preventive tool available.”
The nonsignificant adjusted VE of 9% against A (H3N2) among persons aged ≥65 years is similar to the estimate in a recent interim report from Europe (6) and reinforces the need for continued advances in influenza vaccines, especially to increase protective benefits for older adults.
One possible explanation for these findings is that some older adults did not mount an effective immune response to the influenza A (H3N2) component of this season’s vaccine. Nonetheless, this finding should not discourage future vaccination by persons aged ≥65 years, who are at greater risk for more severe cases and complications from influenza. Influenza vaccines remain the best preventive tool available.
However, according to their own data, a strong immune system is the best preventative measure against the flu, but Big Pharma doesn’t make any money from that.
Finally, the CDC concludes the report with a recommendation to increase the use of flu vaccines; “This report highlights the value of both increasing the use of influenza vaccines, especially among children and young adults, and continuing efforts to develop more effective vaccines and vaccination strategies.”
If a 91% failure rate is “nonsignificant” to the CDC, what level of failure must be reached for them to disavow vaccines?
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