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View Diary: Daily Beast publishes vaccine nutter op-ed and puts kids at risk (195 comments)

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  •  certainly wouldn't be you (11+ / 0-)

    the first study looked at when the vaccine doesn't match the virus (there are years that happens, but not this year).

    the second study reports several things but the important stat is efficacy and not effectiveness. Effectiveness refers to influenza like illness, which is, of course, not necessarily flu.

    the third study points out something which is alas well known, that the older you are the less effective the vaccine.

    None of the studies are "a reason not to get the vaccine".

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:13:53 PM PST

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    •  The vaccine is not perfect... (7+ / 0-)

      I am required by work to get it and I suffered flu symptoms both years I took it.   I have only gotten the flu once in my life.  Immunity is complicated and the vaccine is not fool proof.  

      IMO the real problem is how we as a society reward people who don't call in sick.  Those are the people who spread disease.  I have no problem using sick days when I'm sick to allow my body to recover. The other day I was at a meeting where three physicians all had serious coughs but were at work.  Our employer has a program where you are rewarded if you saved up a certain amount of sick leave, that's sick.  

      •  that's absolutely true (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shigeru, pindoc, Ender, ER Doc

        this is 5 years old, but brilliant:

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:46:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And kids who miss more than (0+ / 0-)

        ten days of school (in our district) risk not passing. And when kids are sick, parents can't get time off work to keep them home, so sick kids go to school. I've watched parents do everything in their power to pass sick kids off to their daycare centers and preschools because of the need to be at work. And there are a lot of us on this planet now in tighter quarters.

        Maybe getting a shot helps, maybe it doesn't, but either way, we have to allow people time to heal from sickness - make a cultural shift, expand sick-leave, allow for more telecommuting where it works, etc.

    •  you want more? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shigeru

      When the Lancet publishes "The remaining evidence base is currently insufficient to indicate the magnitude of the mortality benefit, if any, that elderly people derive from the vaccination programme," it's not outside the pale to ask what's the benefit.

      Here's a recent meta-analysis

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

      And more damning:

      http://www.cbc.ca/...

      The authors strongly advocate for major investments to develop new flu vaccines but say in the meantime, people should continue to use the currently available shots.

      It questions many of the dogmas that are accepted about flu vaccine, including that vaccinating children will protect the elderly, who don't mount a good immune response to flu vaccine.

      As well, it says there is no evidence to support the idea that flu vaccine is more effective in years when the strains included in the shot are a good match for those circulating in nature.

      And yet this flu vaccination hysteria does not extend to investigating the effect of Vitamin D as a flu preventative:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

      •  well... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2, RemusL, badscience, ER Doc

        The group that's the most iffy about how well the vax works is the elderly. And of course, there's a lot we don't know.

        But do note that even in your brief excerpts, the need for better flu shots (undeniable) is matched by recommendations to get the current one. That's a huge point, perhaps THE point.

        As for Vit D, I say study it! Up here in New England, there are a lot of deficiencies, and it may also help asthma.

        Or not.

        Study it and we shall see.

        Is Vit D better than a flu shot? Prove it before you claim it.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:53:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not either/or (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RemusL, badscience

          I got a flu shot. And I take daily Vitamin D too (doctor's recommendation, plus the studies showing it may be helpful against cancer which I've had twice).

          •  yes (0+ / 0-)

            sounds like a good recommendation. But the jury is still out on just how well Vit D works with preventing flu.

            Thought experiment: if vit D prevents 20% of cases and flu vax prevents 60% of cases is vit D "better"? Does the discussion then move to side effects? or needle phobia?

            Worth asking.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:22:26 PM PST

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        •  I'm not claiming it (0+ / 0-)

          But I am claiming that the flu itself is not measles.  I'm not a medical doctor, but I believe that people do not die from the flu, they die from complications from the flu.  I say get better at treating those complications rather than wasting such effort of time and money on something that doesn't work very well.

          Give me a tiny fraction of the money and effort spent on having everyone vaccinated and I am pretty certain I could prove the usefulness of Vitamin D.  And elderberry syrup to boot.

          http://www.ingentaconnect.com/...

          The real problem is the corrupt state of medical research in this country.

          •  huh? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HudsonValleyMark
            I'm not a medical doctor, but I believe that people do not die from the flu, they die from complications from the flu
            Sophistry. Flu can contribute to a death without being the primary cause - and you are just as dead. it's not a better or worse dead because you also got pneumonia.

            I am a medical doctor and kids die from flu because flu causes those complications, including bacterial co-infectious. it doesn't happen often to any individual practitioner that you have to speak to those families but it happens and it's horrible. Treating flu directly with meds like tamiflu appears to help cut down both complications and death. getting a shot for children more than seniors helps prevent flu.

            There's much to abhor about the state of medical research including for profit journals that hoard information (usually even there flu articles are free), but it doesn't change reality.

            Why doesn’t CDC base its seasonal flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that specifically list influenza?

            Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It has been recognized for many years that influenza is infrequently listed on death certificates and testing for seasonal influenza infections is usually not done, particularly among the elderly who are at greatest risk of seasonal influenza complications and death. Some deaths — particularly in the elderly — are associated with secondary complications of seasonal influenza (including bacterial pneumonias). Influenza virus infection may not be identified in many instances because influenza virus is only detectable for a short period of time and/or many people don’t seek medical care until after the first few days of acute illness. For these and other reasons, statistical modeling strategies have been used to estimate seasonal flu-related deaths for many decades, both in the United States and the United Kingdom. Only counting deaths where influenza was included on a death certificate would be a gross underestimation of seasonal influenza’s true impact.

            http://www.cdc.gov/...

            I'm not interested in convincing you, but your readers should know the facts.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:22:11 AM PST

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          •  the old saw about an ounce of prevention... (0+ / 0-)

            It is logically possible that we are investing too much in vaccination relative to other efforts. But when you cite as "more damning" a study that (according to your own quotation) calls to "continue to use the currently available shots" while better ones are developed, your conclusions seem to precede your evidence.

            Election protection: there's an app for that! -- and a toll-free hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE
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            by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:40:45 AM PST

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