New York City s Board of Health has voted to make flu shots mandatory for preschoolers and daycare admittance. This is set to affect about 150,000 kids. Exemptions, however, look like they ll be readily available. So, if the point is protecting kids and their families, will it really make a difference?
There are exactly two drugs that act as specific antiviral agents against influenza. Both of them (Relenza and Tamiflu) act by the same mechanism by inhibiting the enzyme neuraminidase, which is responsible for cutting free the newly formed virus particles from the host cell. In the absence of neuraminidase, the new viruses will stick to the surface of the infected cell and thus not be available to propagate the infection.
It was a bad idea last month; why publish it again? Mandating flu vaccine for healthcare workers is a no-brainer, the arguments against it are specious. So why did JAMA re-publish the article endorsing masks instead? They protect no one except fearful workers from imaginary dangers, while exposing patients to contagion.
As the federal government shuts down, some CDC and FDA functions will be compromised, and some threat to public health may arise. A JAMA op-ed piece approves of vaccination OR masks for healthcare workers. We disapprove.