It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

NEWS: Flu Shots May Not Save Lives - U.S. Study

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 05:37 PM
link   
The flu vaccinations that many doctors hoped would save the lives of elderly people have not done so. Rather than lowering the death rate from influenza among elderly people, the death rate has remained the same. Using US influenza mortality rates from 1968 to 2001 there was found to be no correlation between increased vaccination and decreasing mortality in any age groups. This fact makes this study different from previous studies which have estimated that vaccination programs have cut influenza deaths in half.
 



news.yahoo.com
The flu vaccinations that doctors hoped would save the lives of fragile elderly people have apparently failed to lower death rates, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

More people whose health could be put at risk by influenza have heeded the call to get vaccinated before flu season, but the death rate during the winter flu season remained the same rather than declining, they said.

Based on U.S. mortality rates from 1968 to 2001, the study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found no correlation between increasing vaccination rates after 1980 and declining death rates in any age group.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I find this kind of ironic given that people have paid inflated prices for vaccinations, elderly people have died waiting for them and such a panic has been made regarding vaccine shortages during the past few winter flu seasons.

While there's a chance that this data may not be correct, the results are certainly interesting. I'll be keeping track of this story to see if anything new pops us with regard to the results.

Also, it's interesting to see this come at a time when health agencies, such as the CDC and WHO have been warning of a pandemic if H5N1 mutates. There is so much talk going on about developing vaccines as a safeguard, yet according to this study, the influenza vaccines have done precious little to prevent further deaths.



[edit on 22-2-2005 by parrhesia]




posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 05:39 PM
link   
What a shame all the good microbiologists are dead....Who is left to try to save us? Not many....



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 05:41 PM
link   
Hmmm. Guess they expect another vaccine shortage.



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 05:53 PM
link   
The yahoo story is missing some really important information that was obtained from this study. From the original Associated Press story:


...the former head of the nation's vaccine strategy, Dr. Walter Orenstein, said Simonsen's work "should make us think twice about our current strategy and (about) potentially enhancing it." Orenstein is former director of the CDC's National Immunization Program and now leads a program for vaccine policy development at Emory University.

A shift to vaccinating schoolchildren, the age group most likely to spread the flu virus, is advocated by colleagues of Orenstein's at Emory in a separate report to be published Tuesday in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The NIH and Emory papers, one a highly technical statistical analysis of death data and the other a commentary based on field studies and mathematical modeling, come during a season that focused the nation's attention on vaccine supplies.

*snip*

flu vaccine is less effective in the elderly than in younger people. It works, but not very well, said Ira Longini, a biostatistics professor at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and a proponent of vaccinating schoolchildren.

While it's smart for senior citizens to get their yearly flu shots because it can decrease their risk of getting sick, he said, a smarter government strategy would emphasize shots for children, ages 5 to 18. His statistical models show that strategy could save more elderly Americans from hospital visits and death.

"If we really want to make a difference and control influenza, we simply have to change the policy. We have to vaccinate large numbers of children," Longini said.

He and his colleague Dr. Elizabeth Halloran write that if 70 percent of schoolchildren were vaccinated, the elderly would be protected without flu shots. The strategy would require 42 million doses of flu vaccine. Even during this season's shortage, there were 57 million doses available, their report says.


Most of the elderly that die are dying from secondary infections. The theory put forth in this study if we can keep school age children from getting the flu it will actually save more seniors than if those flu shots were given to the seniors directly. However, the study suggests vaccinating both groups in an abundance of caution.

Good idea IMO.
B.

edit to include link

www.foxnews.com...

[edit on 2/22/05 by Bleys]



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 05:56 PM
link   
Can you link it please, Bleys?



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 06:18 PM
link   
Thank you for the link, Bleys.
You're right, the Yahoo link is missing some essential information and is somewhat misleading. Particularly this passage,


Based on U.S. mortality rates from 1968 to 2001, the study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found no correlation between increasing vaccination rates after 1980 and declining death rates in any age group.


Simply leaving it at that and not addressing the supposed difference in effectiveness between elderly and younger groups leaves a large and important part of the story out.



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 06:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by parrhesia

You're right, the Yahoo link is missing some essential information and is somewhat misleading. Particularly this passage,


Based on U.S. mortality rates from 1968 to 2001, the study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found no correlation between increasing vaccination rates after 1980 and declining death rates in any age group.


Simply leaving it at that and not addressing the supposed difference in effectiveness between elderly and younger groups leaves a large and important part of the story out.




I've noticed a number of news pieces about this over the past week - and some serious backtracking on earlier policies. There may be some merit in the reports but it looks to me like positioning.

Ie., The study was based on U.S. mortality rates from 1968 to 2001 - and the info has been around a long time. ...Last fall, the elderly were prioritized for vaccines - now they're at the bottom of the list. Smells fishy.


.



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 06:56 PM
link   

Originally posted by parrhesia
Simply leaving it at that and not addressing the supposed difference in effectiveness between elderly and younger groups leaves a large and important part of the story out.


The most interesting part of this study is that the flu vaccine is less effective in older people. Why?

So the only way to lower the death rates in the elderly is to stem the spread of influenza by targeting those who are walking germ factories. And since we all know kids are notoriously bad about washing their hands or covering their mouths - makes sense to add them to the list of priority vaccinations.

I really hope the CDC takes a hard look at this study.

B.




top topics



 
0

log in

join