Is the Flu Jab a rort?

by Pete

Personally I have always thought so. ?People who get it often find themselves less than optimal for about a week, and many get the flu that season anyway. ?The wisdom in such cases is that it would be less severe and not last as long.

But if you know about viruses and mutation, the fact that they use last year’s flu strain to make this year’s vaccine relies on the mutation not being too far off the mark.

And it seems that this year, that pretty much hit the unwanted extreme.

The flu jab will protect just three per cent of patients this winter, health experts warned last night.

They say the virus that causes the illness has mutated so much that it no longer ?matches? the current vaccine, which was only developed a year ago. The 3 per cent figure predicted by experts at Public Health England would be the worst in at least a decade.

The NHS spends around ?100million each year on the flu vaccination programme, with each jab costing ?7.60. Although it is never totally effective, it usually protects around 60 per cent of patients. Last night questions were being asked about why health officials did not raise the alarm earlier.

And I would dispute the 60% efficacy as well, although I have no basis other than observing people around me being felled by the flu in spite of their infections appearing to be closer to 100% rather than 40%. ?

Researchers at Public Health England assessed the effectiveness of the jab by looking at saliva samples from 1,314 patients with flu.They found that only 3 per cent had the H3N2 strain of the virus, the remainder had a mutated?form.

Yesterday experts blamed flu for a sudden spike in death rates ? particularly among the elderly, even though most have the jab every year for free on the NHS.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that just over 25,300 over-65s died in the last two weeks until January 23, a rise of 40 per cent compared to the previous year.

The death toll attributed to flu by the spring is now predicted to be the worst since 1999/2000, though latest NHS figures suggest the season has passed its peak.

The absurd thing is that more people will die of the flu this year than have so far died of Ebola, or have died at the hands of ISIS.

Just a quick search shows over 50,000 people in the USA dying of the flu and pneumonia in 2010.

The very elderly and people with respiratory illnesses obviously should take the “60% gamble”, or this year, even the “3% gamble”, but for the rest of us I believe that being healthy, washing your hands lots and staying away from people showing symptoms is the best way to survive the season, and a flu jab is a waste of time.

What are your non-scientific, yet effective methods, of keeping the flu away?

 

– Daily Mail

 

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