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Yet Another Flu Shot Fail: 2019/2020

flu shot flu vaccine

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#1 Dorian Grey

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 03:21 AM


Latest news from the WHO is this year's flu shot may be a mis-match for the (normally) predominant and typically more virulent A strain in the Northern Hemisphere.  

 

https://www.scientif...e-off-the-mark/

 

Strains are picked for the Fall flu shot in the Northern Hemisphere in February, and for the Southern Hemisphere in September.  

 

After narrowing down the viruses to influenza B/Victoria and A/H3N2, the scientists struggled to make a choice about which particular variation of the H3N2 virus would pose the greatest threat in the 2019-2020 flu season. 
 
They went with the virus type that had suddenly ramped up at the end of last season in the US, but Dr Skowronski thinks that that might have been a mistake. The H3N2 wave was late and it was evolving at the time that they met in February.  They are now using an alternate strain H3N2 for the new vaccine for the Southern Hemisphere, which will not be ready for several months (too late for the Northern Hemisphere).  
 
--------------------
 
No actual numbers yet on the effectiveness, but we could be looking at another bad year for flu in the Northern Hemisphere, and a vaccine effectiveness in the teens for the predominant strain.  
 
What bothers me about their reporting of effectiveness, is that they typically average the relative effectiveness of all the strains and don't normally break it down into the predominant and less common strains.  If their H3N2 is only 10% effective, but their B/Victoria component is 90% effective, they'll come out and claim this year's flu shot is 50% effective, when realistically we may be looking at a 10% effectiveness for the predominant strain.  Make sure you are properly informed about effectiveness for the predominant strain as you weigh risk vs potential reward.  
 
Stay Healthy My Friends!  

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#2 Mind

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 10:18 PM

The theory behind the flu shot is fine, of course, but pragmatically, it is an enormous waste of time and energy (IMO). Especially considering that in the most vulnerable population - the elderly - it is barely effective....last year only 9 to 12% effective, depending on what source you go to.

 

New thinking is needed on ways to combat serious viruses, maybe like Draco, which is not getting funded well.


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#3 Dorian Grey

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 11:04 PM

The "hopiness" surrounding the flu vaccines is truly astonishing.  You really have to dig to find the actual effectiveness for the predominant strain.  They ALWAYS mask it by averaging the mismatched predominant strain with the other vaccines in the shot to make a prettier picture of "overall effectiveness".  

 

At the hospital I worked at, if we didn't get the flu shot, we had to wear a mask full time, 5 months of the year.  It didn't matter if there was any flu activity in our area at the time; it was strictly a punishment aspect.  

 

Interestingly, they couldn't care less if you worked sick around patients without a mask so long as you got the shot.  Nurses would save their sick days for when their kids were ill, but drag themselves into work for a few hours when they were sick.  As long as you showed up for an hour or so, it didn't count as an absenteeism.  

 

I frequently found myself in an interesting situation, where I was perfectly healthy behind my mask, while nurses & doctors were working sick around patients with no mask.  This in a healthcare institution, with in house infection control who's sole job was to ponder these sort of things.  

 

The Healthy People 2020 component of Obamacare was supposed to implement mandates for adult vaccines & presumably the flu shot will be a top priority.  Any flu shot dodgers who work with the public or utilize public transportation (air travel) will probably have to wear an scarlet armband.  Don't know if they are going forward with this or not.  

 

We live in interesting times.  


Edited by Dorian Grey, 01 October 2019 - 11:06 PM.

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#4 Rocket

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 01:09 AM

If the government were really interested in saving lives from the flu, it would inject people 40+ with 2iu of high along with administering diabetes preventatives 4 to 5 months out of the year to repair the faltering immune system. But hey, why would the world governments want to do something that worked? Lets legalize pot smoking and fight a war on flavored vapes! Flavored pot is legal in my state but flavored nicotine cartridges are punishable by prison. Hmmmm.... So what exactly is our government really doing???
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#5 Mind

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 03:21 PM

If the government were really interested in saving lives from the flu, it would inject people 40+ with 2iu of high along with administering diabetes preventatives 4 to 5 months out of the year to repair the faltering immune system. But hey, why would the world governments want to do something that worked? Lets legalize pot smoking and fight a war on flavored vapes! Flavored pot is legal in my state but flavored nicotine cartridges are punishable by prison. Hmmmm.... So what exactly is our government really doing???

 

Not sure if it is corruption, indifference, incompetence, or what, but things are rather screwy in healthcare in the U.S. (really "expensive disease management", not "care and not "cure"). People like to complain about free market heath care, but it has got to be better than what is currently going on.

 

I recall a couple of European members of LongeCity remarking about bureaucracy in the U.S. vs. Europe. They said that yes, there is stifling bureaucracy in Europe, but at least it is functional and logical. In the U.S. the bureaucracy is quite often illogical, dysfunctional, and even damaging/antagonistic toward the population it purports to serve.


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#6 Dorian Grey

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 03:58 PM

American healthcare is a fine mess.  My sister had a cardiac stent put in and had to be on a blood thinner.  Her doc said he couldn't prescribe anything but the new and very expensive Eliquis, as it's safety profile was marginally (infinitesimally-so) better than the cheap generics that preformed equally well at thinning blood.  Her insurance said Eliquis was not their "preferred drug" so they required a substantial co-pay.  It very nearly bankrupted her & I had to loan her money to keep her out of foreclosure.  

 

My girlfriend's daughter went to graduate school in Leeds (England) and her mom bought some expensive supplemental insurance for care outside the country.  When she went to the NHS clinic for a health issue they told her they didn't even have a billing department, so they didn't need to see her American health insurance card.  There was simply no charge or co-pay and nothing for her to worry about.  

 

I worked with a doctor who had a similar experience when he broke his ankle hiking in Canada requiring surgery. He had purchased expensive American travel insurance for the trip, & was hopping mad when they told him the Canadian hospital had no billing department and they didn't have a clue how to collect from his insurance.  They suggested he contact the Canadian government, but said there was no charge for the surgery as far as they were concerned. 

 

The current debate about Medicare for all in the political arena is interesting, but even Medicare has co-pays and requires supplemental insurance.  I'm recently retired, and looking at whether to file for Social Security early and preserve my nest egg, or spend it down in favor of higher SS payments if I defer to age 70.  With the cost of healthcare, my most logical option is to burn down my savings and then try to live on the higher Social Security benefit from deferred filing.  Social Security can't be garnished and once you're broke you qualify for Medicaid to supplement Medicare.  I really have little choice in the matter other than to spend my money now, before the Medical Industrial Complex bleeds me dry.   



#7 Rocket

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 05:21 PM

The only socialized medicine I like is the US military. You get sick, go to a doctor, treated in a day. No bills. No co-pays. No insurance company saying they won't cover the procedure. No waiting lines. 

But when you start talking about Canadian health care and European health care, there is a reason why their wealthy people come to the USA to get treated and treated immediately.

 

Health care in the world sucks. I've seen people in perfect health get a bad blood test and go onto treatments that then destroy their health. The guy who "invented" the PSA test in the 80s now says its abused and 10s of thousands of guys with a "high" PSA for which there is no set value get biopsies that sometimes put them into catheters as a result. Then the fact that 50% of men of 50 have histological evidence of cancer and the industry feeds on them and destroys their lives over something that will never kill them.

 

Doesn't change the fact though that something is VERY messed up when you will get time in prison for selling flavored nicotine but selling flavored pot is A-Ok. Call me crazy but there is some kind of conspiracy at work when things are that messed up and no one says a peep about it.

 

Over 230 people were killed in car accidents in my state late year by people on legal pot. People vaping flavored nicotine killed EXACTLY zero people. But flavored vapes = prison. 30 people die because a nut with weapon and every liberal democrat wants all weapons taken away. 230 people killed in my one state in one year and no one liberal cries to make pot illegal again.


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#8 Dorian Grey

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 10:44 PM

Agree. The new guidelines for cholesterol and blood pressure in particular are resulting in a lot of over-treatment.  Statins strongly associated with new onset diabetes in seniors, & low (overtreated) BP with dementia.  Mix them both together and what a double whammy for the boomers.  I may start driving a Hummer what with all the dizzy (low BP) diabetics (unstable blood sugar) on the road.  

 

Anti-tobacco propaganda and persecution has been shamelessly blatant too.  I'm still smokin' my pipe (at 63), & have no trouble climbing the 100 steps up and over the San Diego Convention Center.  No difference in longevity for pipe & cigar smokers!  When George Burns was interviewed on his 90th birthday smoking a cigar, the reporter asked him if his doc know he was still smoking.  George replied: "No...  My doctor is dead!"  George went on to see his 100th, smokin' all the way.  

 

Avoid doctors...  Just say NO to drugs!  


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#9 Rocket

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Posted 03 October 2019 - 12:13 AM

Nicotine is actually a neuroprotective chemical. Smoking is bad, very bad. I smoked like most of the cool kids in college. Loved it at the time. Hate the smell of it now.

I used vapes for 2 years up until 5 years ago before it was the new thing it is today. Loved it. Vaping is probably 1/100,000th as bad as a cigarette.

But there is now a militant anti nicotine madness in the USA. Look nicotine as weird as it sounds has some positive effects and it isn't the nicotine that kills you, its the smoke and the tar and rat piss from how its used. But this militant madness against Vaping doesn't even have science behind it other than the belief that nicotine in any amount is bad. Some companies use poor practices making the cartridges and there is some harmful chems in some products, but that is fixable.

230 innocent people killed by legal marijuana users last year in my state. Not one person is calling for an end to legal pot. 0 killed by vape users and there is a militant army fighting to take away their rights. Flavored pot is legal. Flavored nicotine is time in prison. Great government.

Sometimes I use nicotine patches at night for the dream effects it has on the brain.

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#10 Daniel Cooper

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Posted 03 October 2019 - 02:22 PM

The theory behind the flu shot is fine, of course, but pragmatically, it is an enormous waste of time and energy (IMO). Especially considering that in the most vulnerable population - the elderly - it is barely effective....last year only 9 to 12% effective, depending on what source you go to.

 

New thinking is needed on ways to combat serious viruses, maybe like Draco, which is not getting funded well.

 

 

As far as I can tell, Draco is not only merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead.

 

Which I don't understand.  Even if it isn't used routinely in clinical practice, having a backup anti-viral on hand in case of a significant pandemic would seem to be a prudent measure. 

 

I never saw any animal trial results that told me this strategy should not be pursued.  I consider the suspension of it's development one of the great mysteries of the pharmaceutical industry.


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