The inconvenience of yearly flu shots prevents many people from getting them, while flu kills thousands of Americans annually. We need vaccines that will provide durable immunity and work against new variants. There is progress.
Contrary to a poorly researched Wall Street Journal commentary, the new COVID vaccines have been tested appropriately and, like their predecessors, will likely prevent serious illness, death, and undue stress on the U.S. healthcare system.
Flu is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality every year. Flu vaccines are safe and effective, but far too many Americans decide to forgo them. The result is preventable illnesses and deaths. We must do better at encouraging flu vaccination.
The process of selecting viruses for the yearly flu vaccines is complex and inexact. For the 2023-2024 flu season, there is reason to be optimistic that the vaccines will provide good protection.
A clinical trial of various schedules for administering the two vaccines found that when they were administered together, "the quantitative and functional antibody responses were marginally lower compared to [COVID-19] booster vaccination alone. Lower protection against COVID-19 with concurrent administration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccination cannot be excluded." Thus, the data are somewhat equivocal, but I'll opt to get the two shots at different times.
The same mRNA technology that gave us effective COVID-19 vaccines could yield a new generation of highly protective seasonal flu shots. When will we see these upgraded influenza vaccines? Perhaps sooner than you think.
New research from The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego found that protective IgG antibodies, one of five major classes of antibodies, may not be the most important ones when it comes to fighting off a flu infection. This insight may help make future flu vaccines and other treatments much more effective.
I have had the flu for two weeks. Well, to be honest, I never did get the test to confirm that it was, indeed, the flu. But, I am ok self-diagnosing this one based on the high fever, aches, chills, headache, sore throat, and barking cough. Rapid flu test or not, I'm going to call flu on this one. Did I get the flu shot? Yes. Was it worth it even though I ended up with the flu? Yes.
It's time to get your flu shot. Every year, the medical community emphasizes the importance of getting the vaccine. And every year the same excuses pop up as to why many won't. Let us explain why one of those excuses – that the flu vaccine will give someone the flu – is simply not possible.
A recent paper with too many qualifiers tries to link pregnant women receiving the flu vaccine in the first trimester, and miscarriages. Regardless of the quality of the science, this will almost certainly result in (1) pregnant women second-guessing their flu shot, and (2) the anti-vaccine crowd using this to fuel its fire. So, the takeaway: don't hesitate, vaccinate.
Flu vaccine given by nasal spray is a godsend to parents of kids who fear "shots." But for the next flu season they may well have to revert to the injectable version, since experts fear the spray is not very effective against the most prevalent strains of the inluenza virus.
Young babies can't get flu shots, since their immune systems aren't mature yet. But pregnant mothers can get protected, and then pass their immunity to their babies. A new report shows that infants whose moms had been vaccinated had a 70 percent reduction in flu infection. There's really no reason not to do it.