Health Experts Warn Flu Shot Not Effective This Year
There is little debate that the flu shot, is well, perennially debated. You most likely know just as many staunch flu shot supporters as deniers. Debating the effectiveness of a flu shot has become commonplace all over the world.
Still, most health experts claim that flu shots are the best way to prevent the flu.
Health experts meet twice yearly at the World Health Organization to determine which flu strains should be used in the annual flu shot. This year, health experts tasked with predicting viruses for the Northern Hemisphere say they might have missed the mark. Of the four potential viruses, they maybe got two correct.
According to Statnews.com, the strain selection committee concluded the H3N2 and B/Victoria viruses needed to be updated because the ones used in the Northern Hemisphere vaccine didn’t match the strains of those viruses that are now dominant.
“I think the vaccine strain selections by the WHO committee are obviously important for the Southern Hemisphere but they’re also signals to us because they’re basing their decisions on what they see current predominating on the global level,” said Skowronski, who is with the British Columbia Center for Disease Control in Vancouver.
And other health experts agree that this year’s flu shot might have royally missed the mark.
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“There are many ways that this flu season may pan out,” Scott Hensley, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, said. “For example, we’ve had a lot of H3N2 [activity] the last few years. So it’s possible that this flu season in the Northern Hemisphere will be dominated by H1N1 viruses. And if that’s the case we think that the H1N1 antigens [in the vaccine] are very well matched with the types of H1N1 viruses that are circulating right now.”
The latest report is certain to help usher in a new year’s worth of debate over the infamous flu shot.
One thing is for certain, washing your hands is one of the top ways to prevent the flu. Additionally, it’s important to note that hand sanitizers do little to nothing to guard against the spread of the flu. In the end, use plain old soap and water when you wash your hands. It might sound old fashioned, however, it’s proven time and time again to be the most reliable flu prevention means.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.