With the colder weather coming in, some of our readers are wondering if it's time to have that flu vaccine. It's something that is usually pushed by the government and by the family doctor around this time of year as 'a good thing'. But is it?
New evidence released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in America suggests that attempts to protect our elderly against flu is a little like catching smoke in a sieve.
The problem is simple enough. We can only respond to the flu virus that has been, which is never like the next one that we are trying to protect against.
Not surprisingly, the vaccine is by definition ineffective. Worse, it comes with its own host of side-effects which, as listed by the CDC, include fever, fatigue, muscle aches and headache. That's right, the same symptoms as flu.
Like all vaccines, they sort of work some of the time with some people. The CDC reckons that the vaccine can protect around 30 per cent of elderly people in nursing homes, although other studies have been less generous, and have suggested that protection could be as low as zero.
Presumably, the number of people not stricken by flu is a gauge of vaccine effectiveness, but could this be down to other factors?
For example, could it be that those who do not fall victim to flu have a better nutritional status than those who do? And does this give a better clue to preventative medicine based on sound nutritional principles that could be encouraged by governments and doctors? Just a thought.
For more information on flu vaccines, read The Vaccination Bible. Order your copy by visiting our website http://www.wddty.co.uk