Is The Flu Shot Effective?
Did you know that only 2.7 adults, ages 18 to 64, out of 100 will get the flu? According to a study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases (Jan. 2012 published online Oct. 26, 2011 Vol. 12, Issue 1) if you get a flu shot your chances of getting the flu are 1.18 percent.
This study looked at 8 other studies and pooled the numbers. For the group that received the influenza vaccine 221 adults got the flu out of 18,797 (1.18 percent). In the control group that did not receive the vaccine 357 adults got influenza out of 13,095 (2.7%).
Let’s put this in perspective. Given 1,000 adults we would expect 27 to get the flu. If you had a flu shot, we would expect 12 out of 1,000 to get the flu. Thus the flu shot reduces the number of flu cases by only 15 out of 1,000.
Vaccine efficacy is the percentage reduction in the frequency of influenza infections among people vaccinated compared with the frequency among those who were not vaccinated, assuming that the vaccine is the cause of this reduction.
This study found the efficacy to be about 59 percent. The average person would say I am 59 percent less likely to get the flu with a vaccination. Even though this sounds great, is it? The study shows that 97.3 percent of adults who do not get flu shots will not get the flu. So reducing your chances 59% isn’t all that great.
The study shows that with a flu shot 98.8 percent of adults will not get the flu. In reality we are comparing 97.3 percent to 98.8 percent. With so many long term and short term side effects of the influenza vaccine is it worth it? Maybe it would be better to use natural methods to increase your immunity and decrease your chances of getting the flu.
The media hypes the 59 percent effectiveness of the flu vaccine. There is no mention in this study of the discrepancy of the percentage of population who get the flu every year. As reported by the CDC, the rate of influenza is between 5 and 20 percent. And they usually use the highest value. But based on this study it is only about 2.7 percent.
Carefully weigh the benefits of a flu shot with the side effects. Is 97.3 percent compared to 98.8 percent significant to you? Go online and read some of the side effects of the flu shot and then make your decision. You can make up that small difference by shoring up your immune system naturally. For tips on how to enhance your immune system check out my other article Beat The Flu Naturally.