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
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.