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Time to get a flu shot

To the editor:

The flu season will soon be upon us ad the drum beat to get your flu shot will soon begin. Is it absolutely essential to do this? Let’s look at some facts.

Fact one: There are many strains of flu.

Fact two: Every flu strain mutates from one year to the next. This fact is why the Spanish flu devastated the world for only one flu season.

Fact three: The pharmaceutical industry probably has a fancy term for it, but what they do is guess which flu strain with be active the coming flu and create a vaccine using the current strain of that guessed strain and hope (I’m sure they have a fancy term once again) that it will be close enough to be effective.

Fact four: The effective rate of flu shots for the past 4 years is 2018 only 29%, 2017 only 36%, 2016 only 32%, 2015, only 41%. One year the CDC rated the effectiveness of the flu shot a 0%. Why?

Back to the fact that they guess which strain will be active. They guessed H1N1 and it was the swine flu instead. This fact was known within a few weeks of the flu season but the drum beat continued.

Fact five: A British study showed that proper hygiene was more effective against the flu than flu shots. A Canadian study of flu in a nursing home came to the same conclusion.

What does all this mean? It all depends on who you ask. Personally, I think one and all need to be as hygienically aware as is possible as this is your first line of defense against the flu. Get a flu shot? Keeping in mind that it’s highly likely that all I’m doing is line the pockets of the drug industry, I choose not to waste my money. I look at the 0% CDC number and so feel that the flu vaccine manufacturer(s) have the profit margin as the most important item on their agenda. But, to each his own.

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