Brace yourselves for a miserable flu season
A recent study shows this year’s version of the flu vaccine was just 10 percent effective in Australia.
Public health experts are warning that the upcoming flu season may a rough one in this country, as data from Australia indicate the vaccine selected for this year’s strain isn’t effective against the virus.
The flu vaccine used this year in Australia — which has the same composition as the vaccine used in the U.S. — was only 10 percent effective, according to a preliminary estimate, at preventing the strain of the virus that predominantly circulated during the country’s flu season,an international team of medical experts wrote in a perspective published today in The New England Journal of Medicine.
“However imperfect, though, current influenza vaccines remain a valuable public health tool, and it is always better to get vaccinated than not to get vaccinated,” the team emphasized.
In the The New England Journal of Medicine report, the authors indicate that vaccines may fail to protect against this year strains of the influenza A (H3N2) virus.
“Given that most of the U.S. influenza-vaccine supply is currently produced in eggs and the composition of the 2017-2018 Northern Hemisphere vaccine is identical to that used in Australia, it is possible that we will experience low vaccine effectiveness against influenza A viruses,” Fauci, his Australian counterpart, and two World Health Organization officials wrote.
H3N2 was the most predominant flu strain among Australians and unfortunately, the vaccine did little to protect them. According to preliminary estimates, the vaccine was only 10 percent effective.
This year’s virus, H3N2 Flu, is actually a subtype of influenza A. While there are multiple types of influenza, only influenza A is further broken down into subtypes.
Although flu symptoms are typically similar no matter the strain of influenza, history has shown that seasons in which H3N2 influenza A is the dominant strain have been more severe.
From 2003 to 2013, the three flu seasons that were dominated by H3N2 strains of the flu had the highest mortality rates – causing more deaths on average than other years (excluding the 2009 H1N1 pandemic flu).
At the beginning of the 2014-2015 flu season, a mutated version of H3N2 has caused a majority of the flu in the United States.
The mutated virus was different from the strain of H3N2 influenza A that was included in that season’s vaccine. Unfortunately that means the vaccine did not provide as much protection against the flu as it would have otherwise. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work at all.
Why is it that the flu viruses can mutate but still pose significant health effects?
The answer has to do with how influenza distracts your immune system. Flu viruses are studded with a protein called hemagglutinin. It helps the virus attach to the cells in your airway and fuse with them. It’s also cloaked in tiny loops that catch the immune system’s attention.
It’s like having a lightning pole. You sort of spend a lot of your immune reaction on these loops,” [says James Crowe, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center]. “The flu tricks you into focusing on areas that are not as important.” These loops can change endlessly, he says. And because they aren’t critical for the virus’s survival, they can mutate a lot without harming it.
All of this means flu viruses can change just enough that the immunity you had from your last vaccine will be a little bit off and won’t work so well anymore. “Those are minor changes, but they require us to refresh the vaccines every year,” Crowe says.
Here’s to hoping our Legal Insurrection readers stay healthy during this year’s flu season.
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I have nothing against vaccines. That said I have never had a flu shot although I have inquired. I have been told by the doctors that as I am not in the risk group it is not something that they advise although I do not believe they dissuade us from getting one if we are so inclined. As I tend not to take medicine unless it is strongly advised to do so. I haven’t nor do I intend to do so, but will ask again next time I am at the doctor’s office.
I concur – my opinion about this news is that they’re finally being honest about the same odds the flu shot has had of protecting you in any given year.
I have refused to get a flu shot since the time I came down with a bad case of the flu within 24 hours of getting the shot. I have a sister in law that preaches the virtues of the flu shot and tries to remind everyone to get them.
Over the last 10 years, with no flu shot, I’ve gotten the flu 3 times. My sister in law has also gotten the flu 3 times, twice within a week of getting the shot. She says that’s good, the shot’s protected her 70% of the time. I say you got a 3 in 10 chance of getting the flu in any given year no matter what ya do.
” I came down with a bad case of the flu within 24 hours of getting the shot.”
The flu shot takes 2-3 weeks to be effective. It sounds like you were exposed to the flu the same day you got the shot, so there’s no way it could have helped. Same for getting the flu a week later; that probably means you either got the shot too late, or ran into someone who brought that year’s variety over early.
allow me to suggest a 3rd possibility – the flu shot is just a placebo that lets the providers make millions of dollars from pushing out junk, while simultaneously allowing government types to pretend they’re looking out for people and doing oh so much to help them. And everybody involved gets kickbacks and bennies from not blowing the whistle on the scam.
May I suggest that you can’t conclude “ou got a 3 in 10 chance of getting the flu in any given year no matter what ya do” with a sample size of N=2?
It sux if this year’s effectiveness is only 10%, although even if it were 90% you might still get the flu even if you’d received the vaccination. And, if you’re reasonably healthy then although flu may be seriously unpleasant it’s not likely to be life-threatening.
Further, nothing in medicine is completely risk-free; it’s always about risk vs benefit. BUT, having said that, there are few medical procedures that offer as high a benefit-to-risk ratio as immunization.
I have family members that said they got a nasty version of the flu (implying to myself, an RN that it is a newer version) so I believe this article and the results so far of the vaccine. Hang in there folks.
I used to get respiratory infections 1-2 times a year until I started using “nasal irrigation” (the “neti pot”) with:
1 cup comfortably warm water
1/2 tsp non-iodized salt
1 tsp xylitol crystals
If you feel symptoms coming on: use 2-3 times per day. As a preventative: anywhere from once per day to a couple times per week.
I picked up a Neti Pot and tried it when I was really congested but I could not really detect any lasting relief. Your recommendation to use it when symptoms first appear sounds like a good idea. I think I will take your advice. 🙂
I usually don’t get around to a flu shot as I don’t consider it a necessity. The strain that goes around each year seems to be the one that always gets missed or “circumvents” the vaccine anyways.
Some helpful information for our commie trolls, because we don’t want them getting any sicker: rumor has it that to avoid the flu, get yourself additional vaccines – the rumor says that about ten or twenty extra shots work well, especially if you get them in the same day, and in the same spot and on the same arm.
Never know: an additional one in each eyeball might help, too.
Experiment, and let us know how it goes.
This only works for the ladies. For men they can take their extra shots in the testicles with the guarantee that their children will be immunized against all infections. Likewise, ‘girly men’ can take their extra shots in the eyeballs, while true feminists can take their in the testes.
I stand corrected.
But I read somewhere else that commie trolls can enhance the efficacy of the testes injections by smacking the injected area with a wooden mallet immediately after the shot.
The same article mentioned excellent results for commie trolls with stuffed sinuses after they smacked themselves between the eyes with the same mallet. ( — Something to the effect that by being unconscious for several days, they awoke to find their cold gone, though most subject could not recognize themselves in the mirror. Either do most dogs, so what the hell.)
Worth a try, all you commie trolls.
“…was only 10 percent effective…”
Without knowing how this number was determined, the confidence interval, etc., I consider it pure BS. Controlled experiments? Control groups? Further, I never trust a a number that just happens to be a nice round number like “10%.” Back in my engineering days, we called this a “brown hand number” due to the location of its source.
I rarely get the flu. One of those rare times was after the only flu shot I have every had. Somebody is making money here.
Lots of democrat “brown hand number” pollsters, too.
Though that’s giving them too much credit.
I got the vaccine and then got sick a week later. But this time it’s different. I am now room temperature and developing this insatiable and growing hunger. For living human flesh!
This is where it began.
Make sure you aren’t using tap water. Many areas (including my own) don’t eradicate Nigleria fowleri from the water supply.
Sorry, that was supposed to be a reply. Also…*Naegleria. I musta lost my mind.
I’m not an anti-vaxer but the flu vaccine is a complete scam. According to CDC between 20 and 45 million American’s have flu like symptoms but it only kills 35K each year. Most of them were already dying from something else.
The only thing that stays healthy due to the flu vaccine is the bottom line of the pharmaceutical companies.
No thanks. Until vaccines are subject to rigorous double-blind studies and are thereby demonstrated to be 1) safe (meaning there are no long-term ill effects due to the use of heavy metals like mercury (thimerosal) and aluminum) and 2) effective (meaning they actually prevent sickness, and not merely result in creation of antibodies), I’ll pass.
What’s disturbing is the constant push for vaccinations, even with adults now. Where is the “my body, my choice” crowd? Funny how those hypocrites keep their traps shut when they really should be speaking up.
At best, the “flu vaccine” is a government-sponsored crap shoot; heck, because it’s government sponsored should scare everybody (like everything else that’s government sponsored). First, it uses last year’s flu strain(s) (which have likely already naturally altered themselves), then that strain is injected into the substrate–typically egg, which becomes a killer for those individuals who are allergic to eggs–at which point the virus mutates, which renders it even less likely to be useful for any vaccination purpose. After it has percolated for some period of time, then the “serum” is removed from the substrate and is injected into unwitting hosts/customers. Oh, and that serum? It has also been found to contain other deleterious chemicals, such as mercury, lead, formaldehyde … consider that there are those in the government that subscribe to the theory of overpopulation, and this becomes a great way to cull out the population.
Oh, and this process is used for virtually all “vaccines”, making all of them suspect. The old remedy for cow pox (taking pus scrapings directly from the open sore and infecting one’s self with them) worked against small pox because it didn’t involve a third-party host (re: substrate).
Is the flu vaccine a scam? I’d say that it’s a conspiracy.