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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oh dear.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canada-flu-shot-vaccine-skowronski-h1n1-1.3669427

"Overall, just shy of 45 to 50 per cent," said Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the BC Centre for Disease Control, who presented the data to the Global Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness meeting at the World Health Organization last week.
"That's lower than we would like to see, but it's an improvement over the previous year, because it couldn't be worse, frankly."
And it's not a result of a "bad match":

Skowronski said the vaccine was well-matched, but overall, the protection was disappointing.
Scientists also once again observed the paradox that previous vaccination against the flu seemed to lower protection.
The so-called "Canadian problem" was first identified by Skowronski's team during the H1N1 pandemic.
So far, scientists have not been able to explain why people who get the shot with no prior vaccine exposure seem to have better protection than people who get the shot year after year.
So, is it still worth getting something with 45% effectiveness?

As for a recommendation about whether people should still get the flu shot if it's only working half the time, Dr. Skowronski said it is strongly recommended for elderly people and for those who are immunocompromised.
I guess that it means the rest of us non-elderly, non-immunocompromised, non-chronic condition folks can take that as a resounding endorsement (not).
 

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I did notice that no one ever even offered us a flu shot for my son. They consistently pressured us to get him caught up and on schedule and mentioned his dtap-ipv-hepb-hib, and pneumococcal but no one seemed to care about rotavirus or flu. Not that we would have taken it anyway, but the push for flu shots didn't seem to be there are strongly this year.


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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The GPs I've seen here don't mention it either, but I figured it was part of that legacy of the fluvax fiasco that killed and permanently injured kids here back in 2010 (and underscored the lack of proper safety testing of flu vaccines and the lack of a monitoring framework in place for adverse reaction reports)...I think that years on, GPs are reluctant to push flu vaccines for kids and instead wait for the parents to request it.

Oh look, I'm right...

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/31817191/gps-still-nervous-over-flu-vaccine-for-kids/
 

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My GP mentioned it as part of a long checklist of items that she was supposed to get through during the appointment. She didn't even blink when I said, "No thanks." Flu shot pushers can admonish doctors all they want for not being aggressive about it, but they will never micromanage how every doctor practices.

So imagine combining the already-ineffective vaccine with a bad match, and you've got yourself a real crap-vax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
My GP mentioned it as part of a long checklist of items that she was supposed to get through during the appointment. She didn't even blink when I said, "No thanks." Flu shot pushers can admonish doctors all they want for not being aggressive about it, but they will never micromanage how every doctor practices.

So imagine combing the already-ineffective vaccine with a bad match, and you've got yourself a real crap-vax.
From the article:

In 2014-15, the flu shot offered essentially zero protection against the circulating influenza virus of that season. Back then, the prevailing strain was H3N2.
So, bad match can equal zero protection. Best case scenario with a match = 45%.

It interesting because how many times are we told that even if the flu vaccine doesn't match that season's strains, we should get it anyway because it will offer some protection and is better than nothing. IDK, but "zero protection" sounds pretty useless to me.

ETA: the related link on the "Canadian problem" paradox makes for interesting reading in terms of vaccine policy and food for thought in terms of a S&D approach. Maybe getting a flu shot every year is not the answer and not in the public's best interest. I found it intriguing that they were able to replicate the results in other countries.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/flu-vaccine-paradox-adds-to-public-health-debate-1.2912790
 

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I did notice that no one ever even offered us a flu shot for my son. They consistently pressured us to get him caught up and on schedule and mentioned his dtap-ipv-hepb-hib, and pneumococcal but no one seemed to care about rotavirus or flu. Not that we would have taken it anyway, but the push for flu shots didn't seem to be there are strongly this year.


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My girls are 14 and 12 and we have never been offered a flu shot at their routine well visits. I suspect this may have something to do with the fact that I schedule all well visits over the summer which isn't traditionally flu season.
 

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We definitely had visits in flu season. Here vaccines are given at what is essentially a clinic just for shots (they do a couple of other things, but it's not your doctor who does them it public health nursing). If even vaccine clinics aren't pushing that's an interesting sign. Last year the only push I remember were signs in pharmacies, compared to the year before my OB offered, the pharmacies and other places too.


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