Vaccination against the flu is our single best weapon against that virus, but it is not perfect. If you get vaccinated, you can still contract the flu, which this year comes at us with two different bugs. The good news is that future vaccines will be better.
Every year early detection of the influenza virus at over 100 countries helps decide which virus is most likely to spread. Based on that vaccines are made, and each vaccine is made from three components, from the three likely viruses (A, B, and swine flu type). The problem is that the flu virus changes, and so what is effective against it one time, may not be another. The flu vaccine this year is about 62% effective against the various strains.
This is all changing as the FDA recently announced approval of the Next-Generation of vaccines that will be made by genetic engineering rather than growing virus in eggs. This allows the genetic material of part of the flu virus to be isolated, then using an insect virus, grown quickly.
Flu Shot Won’t Give You the Flu
First it means you won’t get the flu from the vaccination. You won’t have the symptoms typically associated with the live-virus vaccine. Second, it means better specificity of the vaccine. Third, for those worried about formaldehyde, thimerosol, egg albumin, or latex- none of that is in this vaccine.
By isolating the DNA of the virus that is now infecting people, we can have better effectiveness. If there is a pandemic virus, as we feared several years ago with Swine Flu, the response time of getting new vaccines will be much faster. The new vaccine is manufactured under the name Flublock.
Other novel ways of vaccines are still being tested, as we attempt to develop a “universal flu” vaccine that would only be needed every ten years instead of yearly.
Here is what doesn’t work for the flu:
There is no food, super food, food supplement, or vitamin that is as effective as the flu vaccine. There is no “immune boosting” source that will work as well as a vaccine. In fact, while those words have been used before, and by many people who don’t want to become vaccinated – there is yet to be a study showing the effectiveness of food, supplements, or any complementary or alternative medicine. None are as effective as getting a vaccine.Tam-flu may be effective if used early- but is not as effective as vaccination.
Do yourself a favor- get vaccinated. Don’t wait- it is the single best thing you can do for yourself.
Dr. Terry Simpson – has written 260 posts on this site.
Dr. Terry Simpson is a Phoenix weight loss surgeon. He encourages his lap-band surgery patients to learn to cook and adopt healthier lifestyles. His goal is to use culinary medicine to keep patients out of his operating room. www.drterrysimpson.com