There are large outbreaks of the flu, despite widespread administration of the flu vaccine. How can this be?
Officials said that this flu season is shaping up to be one of the worst in recent years.
The rate of flu hospitalizations – the number of people hospitalized with flu per 100,000 – nearly doubled last week compared with the previous week. Last week it was 22.7 per 100,000 people; the week before that[, the] rate was 13.7.
Officials feared that the flu vaccine may not work particularly well this season, but it appears to be faring slightly better than expected.
Preliminary testing by the CDC suggests [that] the vaccine is probably more protective than it was in Australia during its 2017 winter. The Australian interim estimate suggested [that] the H3N2 component of the vaccine – and H3N2 was the main virus there during their most recent winter – was only about 10 percent effective.
That means if 100 people got the flu shot and all were exposed to H3N2 viruses, only 10 would have been protected.
Or maybe it means that if 100 people didn't get the flu shot, only 10 would have been protected by natural immunity.
[T]his year is starting to look like a severe season, and maybe more severe than last year, which was also bad, said Dr. Dan Jernigan, head of CDC's influenza division.
These are the same CDC that stated that whites make worse fathers than blacks. How trustworthy can they be?
Jernigan said it looks more [as though] the H3N2 portion of the vaccine is performing here [as] it did last year, when it was 34 percent effective at preventing infection. Unfortunately, that's about on par for the flu shot's H3N2 component, which is the weak link of flu vaccine.
How can a vaccine be 34% effective? Either it works or it doesn't. When you see figures like 10% and 34% bandied around, it looks to me that when the vaccine "works," what is actually happening is that natural immunity is protecting people, and the vaccine is taking credit for it.
Apparently, even these relatively low numbers of 10% and 34% mean nothing. According to studies, when the vaccine is "most effective," 1% of the population catches the flu instead of 4%. What that means is that most people are already immune to the flu. And the difference between 1% and 4% is so small that it might be due to statistical variation, bias, or a correlation without causation. Perhaps people who get the flu shot are more healthy in general on average.
And there is a risk to getting the flu shot, including potential side-effects.
If this were a real vaccine, it would work most of the time. It doesn't. The only surprise is that every time there is a flu epidemic, the media keep pumping out articles saying how good the flu shot still is.
Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.