Every year scientists attempt to predict which strain of influenza will become the most virulent in order to create vaccines which protect as many people as possible from the flu. If they guess the wrong strain it could result in a 0% effectiveness rate where if they guess correctly the effectiveness rate could be upwards of 60% or higher.
This flu season strain H3N2 is predicted to hit the U.S., which has been the deadliest throughout the past decade. However, this year’s vaccines are proving only to be about 10% effective against the virus. To put that in perspective statistically, in 2011 it was recorded that out of the 2.7% of people estimated to be affected by influenza each year, vaccinations were only able to drop that number down to 1.2%.
This “60% effectiveness rate” was actually touted as a huge success by vaccine manufacturers, but it also meant that the remaining 98.5% of people who either weren’t granted immunity from the vaccine or never got it at all had no benefit from the shot whatsoever. Now that the new vaccine has only a 10% effectiveness rate, the amount of people who can potentially benefit from getting vaccinated for the flu falls from roughly 3 in 200 people to less than 1 in 300.
Although the numbers aren’t strong in favor of vaccination and H3N2 is admittedly not as virulent as other strains, the CDC and some doctors are still insisting that everyone receive the flu shot as routine.
“Some of the early assessments of the vaccine from the Australia epidemic in their winter, our summer, suggest about a 10 percent vaccine efficacy which would then mean it was 10 percent effective in preventing the disease…a lot more research needs to be done to get a vaccine that works every time for every season for everyone but I still encourage everyone to get it.” – Dr. Pritish Tosh of the Mayo Clinic
Statistically speaking, the flu jab will almost certainly not protect you from any deadly influenza sickness that you are highly unlikely to receive. Not only are “immunizations” often not effective even when the correct strain is guessed correctly, but vaccines are known to be linked with a variety of potential hazards such as spontaneous abortions, autism, and “flu-like symptoms”. Knowing this, it’s not surprising why many choose not to vaccinate for the flu.
You might not be able to protect yourself from this year’s flu by taking vaccines, but you may by choosing a healthy lifestyle. If you want to instead increase the hardiness of your immune system overall, try exercising regularly, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and getting adequate sleep. Even laughter, as it turns out, can give your body what it needs to stay healthy throughout the season.
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