Flu shot effectiveness for 2015-16 disappointing, data shows
Flu shot protects better than last year, but not good enough, experts say
It’s the time of year when experts crunch the numbers to see how well the flu shot worked. The result? Better than last year, but still not good enough.
“Overall, just shy of 45 to 50 per cent,” said Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the BC Centre for Disease Control, who presented the data to the Global Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness meeting at the World Health Organization last week.
“That’s lower than we would like to see, but it’s an improvement over the previous year, because it couldn’t be worse, frankly”
In 2014-15, the flu shot offered essentially zero protection against the circulating influenza virus of that season. Back then, the prevailing strain was H3N2.
A Shot Never Worth Taking: The Flu Vaccine ~ by Kelly Brogan, MD
•It’s not indicated: I’m sure you don’t know a single person who has died of the flu, and if you think you do, I can almost guarantee you that the diagnosis was not confirmed in a way that ruled out the 150-200 infectious pathogens that cause flu-like syndromes, none of which would be “covered” by the vaccine. Despite the astronomical figures the CDC flashes before us of “flu deaths”, there were 18 (yes, 1-8) confirmed in 2001, for example. Access to these figures is suspiciously concealed, but in the end, forget the stats, and use some common sense to see the fear mongering and sales marketing for what it is.
•It doesn’t work: The Cochrane Database – an objective, gold-standard assessment of available evidence has plainly stated, in TWO STUDIES, that there is no data to support efficacy in children under two, and in adults. Even the former Chief Vaccine Officer at the FDA states: “there is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza.” Liking the idea of being protected from the flu does not equate to being protected from the flu. That’s essentially what your vaccine-promoting doctor (or pharmacist) is engaging in – promoting an idea.
Study 2010: Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults.
The corresponding figures for poor vaccine matching were 2% and 1% (RD 1, 95% CI 0% to 3%). These differences were not likely to be due to chance. Vaccination had a modest effect on time off work and had no effect on hospital admissions or complication rates. Inactivated vaccines caused local harms and an estimated 1.6 additional cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome per million vaccinations. The harms evidence base is limited.
Study 2014: Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults.
On this basis, vaccination shows very limited effects: NNV 92 (95% CI 63 to 201) against ILI in pregnant women and NNV 27 (95% CI 18 to 185) against laboratory-confirmed influenza in newborns from vaccinated women.Live aerosol vaccines have an overall effectiveness corresponding to a NNV 46 (95% CI 29 to 115).The performance of one-dose or two-dose whole virion pandemic vaccines was higher, showing a NNV of 16 (95% CI 14 to 20) against ILI and a NNV of 35 (95% CI 33 to 47) against influenza, while a limited impact on hospitalisation was found (NNV 94, 95% CI 70 to 1022).Vaccination had a modest effect on time off work and had no effect on hospital admissions or complication rates. Inactivated vaccines caused local harms. No evidence of association with serious adverse events was found, but the harms evidence base was limited.The overall risk of bias in the included trials is unclear because it was not possible to assess the real impact of bias.