A health expert is warning that this year’s flu shot is most likely going to be just as ineffective as last year’s vaccine. The flu often becomes active in October in the United States, and with this shot looking like it’s another failure, it could be a difficult flu season for some.
Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an influenza expert from the University of British Columbia told Stat News that this year’s flu shot for the Northern Hemisphere, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, is likely to be a ‘mismatch’ for the active virus likely to make people sick.
Flu shots have to be newly developed ahead of each season based on scientists’ predictions of which strains will be most active in the coming months. Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) choose the strains for the Northern Hemisphere’s shot in February, and chose those for the Southern Hemisphere last week. Those they’ve chosen for the Northern Hemisphere’s shot, however, appear to be wrong.
For the Southern Hemisphere, officials chose influenza A/H3N2 and B/Victoria – different ones from the strains picked for the North, suggesting to Dr. Skowronski that the prior prediction was wrong and the Northern shots may be ineffective.
‘I think the vaccine strain selections by the WHO committee are obviously important for the Southern Hemisphere but they’re also signals to us because they’re basing their decisions on what they see current predominating on the global level,’ said Dr. Skowronski. –The Daily Mail
Whether the flu shot is effective or not, there are ways to naturally boost your immune system.
Dr. Chris Del Mar, Professor of Public Health at Bond University has challenged the value of influenza vaccinations while speaking at the GPs Down Under Conference on the Gold Coast. According to The Sydney Morning Herald,Del Mar states that the influenza vaccine has been “oversold” in Australia and said handwashing and mask-wearing should instead be the focus of flu prevention campaigns.
Del Mar pointed to a review that found seasonal flu vaccines only reduced the rate of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases by between 1 to 2 percent. “Influenza is indeed a true threat to public health and I am not a vaccine skeptic in general, but annual influenza vaccinations do little to protect against serious illness,” Professor Del Mar said. “My viewing of the evidence is that the amount of benefit for influenza vaccine is very, very weak and it makes me think that this is not a great use of our effort in trying to immunize large swaths of the population when there are other opportunities that may be more effective,” he said. –SHTFPlan
Making sure you eat healthily, get adequate sleep, and exercise will also be valuable in the prevention of the cold or the flu. Vitamin D also plays a role in the prevention of sicknesses, so make sure you get at least some sunlight during the winter months when you can.