the flu vaccine is expected to be plentiful this season—oh joy! Joe Fahy reports:Maybe that title should read, A Profitable Flu Season. Because according to The Pittsburgh Post Gazette
A record amount of vaccine is expected this flu season, and local providers are hoping enough is distributed to meet demand early on, when people are most interested in shots.Before you line up for your dose of feel-good juice, check out Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on the flu shot. Here’s an excerpt from Six Steps to Protect Your Family from Avian Flu:
Noting "alarmingly low" vaccination rates among adults and children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged yesterday that Americans get flu shots well into the flu season.
"We need to rethink the influenza immunization season and encourage vaccination throughout the fall and winter," Dr. Julie Gerberding, the CDC's director, said in a statement.
"Every year, we miss the opportunity to get more Americans vaccinated," said Dr. Ardis Hoven, an infectious disease specialist and board member for the American Medical Association, at a news conference with Dr. Gerberding and other health officials in Washington.
"After Thanksgiving, patient demand for vaccine dramatically decreases," often leaving many doses unused and people unprotected, Dr. Hoven said.
All medical interventions have a benefit-to-risk ratio. One has to weigh the potential risks with the supposed benefits. Often the long-term risks of medications are not clearly delineated and the supposed benefits are exaggerated by doctors and pharmaceutical companies (because after all, medicine is still a business to make money).If you’re interested, check out my own run in with the flu: Flu, Shot!
Flu vaccines have benefits and risks too. If you read about the flu vaccine in the information supplied by the manufacturer you will learn it contains formaldehyde and 25 micrograms of thimersol (mercury) per dose, used as a preservative. The injection of even this small amount of mercury repeatedly year after year from multiple vaccines can cause neurotoxicity (brain damage). The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Public Health Service have issued a joint statement calling for the removal of mercury from vaccines. Chronic low dose mercury exposures may cause subtle neurological abnormalities that rear their head later in life.