Responses in a recent survey ranged from blaming Hurricane Sandy (with a government coverup) to profit motivations by BigPharma to vaccine inffectiveness.
- Flu myths: Know your bug (sacbee.com)
- CDC: Flu activity continues to be high across the United States (medicalxpress.com)
- How To Avoid The Flu Epidemic While Traveling (gadling.com)
- US flu epidemic worsens, 29 children dead (terradaily.com)
On January 11, 2013, this report was posted as an MMWR Early Release on the MMWR website (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr)
In the United States, annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months (1). Each season since 2004–05, CDC has estimated the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine to prevent influenza-associated, medically attended acute respiratory infection (ARI).
This season, early data from 1,155 children and adults with ARI enrolled during December 3, 2012–January 2, 2013 were used to estimate the overall effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine for preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infection associated with medically attended ARI.
After adjustment for study site, but not for other factors, the estimated vaccine effectiveness (VE) was 62% (95% confidence intervals [CIs] = 51%–71%). This interim estimate indicates moderate effectiveness, and is similar to a summary VE estimate from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trial data (2); final estimates likely will differ slightly.
As of January 11, 2013, 24 states and New York City were reporting high levels of influenza-like illness, 16 states were reporting moderate levels, five states were reporting low levels, and one state was reporting minimal levels (3). CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices routinely recommend that annual influenza vaccination efforts continue as long as influenza viruses are circulating (1). Persons aged ≥6 months who have not yet been vaccinated this season should be vaccinated.
However, these early VE estimates underscore that some vaccinated persons will become infected with influenza; therefore, antiviral medications should be used as recommended for treatment in patients, regardless of vaccination status. In addition, these results highlight the importance of continued efforts to develop more effective vaccines……
- Flu season worsens, 29 children die (msnbc.msn.com)
- CDC: Manufacturers making more flu vaccine (upi.com)
- Will The Flu Shot Protect Me From This Year’s Flu? (alternativendhealth.wordpress.com)
- 2012-13 Seasonal Influenza – an update! (bio230fall2010.wordpress.com)
- FDA approves new flu vaccine (kmov.com)
- Flu vaccine halves risk of infection this year, Canadian study shows (vancouversun.com)
The Compelling Need for Game-Changing Influenza Vaccines: An Analysis of the Influenza Vaccine Enterprise and Recommendations for the Future
….The ongoing public health burden caused by seasonal influenza and the potential global effect of a severe pandemic create an urgent need for a new generation of highly effective and cross-protective vaccines that can be manufactured rapidly. A universal vaccine should be the goal, with a novel-antigen game-changing vaccine the minimum requirement…
- Ontology-Based Combinatorial Comparative Analysis of Adverse Events Associated with Killed and Live Influenza Vaccines (plosone.org)
- “We Have Overpromoted And Overhyped This [Influenza] Vaccine” (biosurveillance.typepad.com)
- Report Casts Doubt over Success of Flu Vaccine (theepochtimes.com)
- OSHA rejects mandatory flu vaccines for health care workers (therefusers.com)
- Why a Reluctance to Health? (appliedepidemiology.wordpress.com)
- Stronger Influenza Vaccines Needed (passporthealthsarasota-bradenton.com)
- U.S. Flu Season Off To Early Start, CDC Urges Vaccination (cdc.gov)
From the announcement
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today issued the first “FluView” influenza activity report for the U.S. 2012-2013 flu season. The 2012-2013 reporting season began on September 30. The first FluView report shows that influenza activity is low nationwide.This season, FluView has new interactive visualization tools.
To access the FluView report please go to (www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly).
CDC routinely tracks influenza activity in the United States with a system that determines when and where influenza activity is occurring, what influenza viruses are circulating, and detects changes in influenza viruses.
The system also measures the burden of influenza disease in the United States, including tracking flu-related illness, hospitalizations and deaths. Data for the week ending October 6 indicate that influenza activity is low nationally at this time.
This year, FluView includes enhanced web-based interactive applications which can provide dynamic visuals of the influenza data collected and analyzed by CDC. These FluView Interactive applications, allow people to create customized, visual interpretations of influenza data, as well as comparisons across flu seasons, regions, age groups, and a variety of other demographics.
CDC can’t predict how severe the upcoming flu season will be. However, the agency recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated against influenza each year. More than 112 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine already have been distributed by vaccine manufacturers in the United States this season and more is expected.
For more information about influenza, please go to www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluviewinteractive.htm
Here’s a few excerpts from the first weekly report (it is rather long and includes quite a few graphs and graphics)
WHO and NREVSS collaborating laboratories located in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. report to CDC the number of respiratory specimens tested for influenza and the number positive by influenza type and subtype. Region specific data can be found at http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/fluportaldashboard.html.
Week 41 No. of specimens tested 3,285 No. of positive specimens (%) 129 (3.9%) Positive specimens by type/subtype Influenza A 61 (47%) 2009 H1N1 4 (6.6%) Subtyping not performed 31 (50.8%) H3 26 (42.6%) Influenza B 68 (53%)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Weekly Report: Image Download
- State health officials urge you to get flu vaccine soon (fox6now.com)
- Teen’s death shows how flu can kill in a flash (msnbc.msn.com)
- Influenza 2012 (wellnessinnurses.com)
- ‘U Of M’ Report: Flu Shots Not As Effective As Previously Reported (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
With cold and flu season upon us, many companies have geared up for what is predicted to be a busy flu season producing 150 million doses of the influenza vaccine, up 17 million from last year.
“This is a pretty busy time around here,” said Dennis Cunningham, MD a physician in Infectious Diseases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Our emergency department, urgent care centers and our inpatient numbers always go up because of the flu, although many of those patients could avoid getting sick by practicing just a few simple precautions.”
Dr. Cunningham, also a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, said that part of the problem is many people buy into the long-held myths about the flu vaccine and miss opportunities to avoid getting sick. He says following about some of the most common myths:
Myth: You can actually catch the flu from the flu vaccine.
“This is probably the most common myth out there, but it’s simply not true,” said Dr. Cunningham. “The vaccine can give you some mild symptoms, you may feel a bit achy and your arm may be a little tender where you first get the shot. But that’s actually a good thing and shows that the vaccine is working. It tells us your body is responding appropriately to the vaccine.”
Dr. Cunningham said that nobody should confuse a few slight symptoms with the actual flu. The vaccine may leave you feeling a bit warm or achy for a day or two, but with true influenza, someone is sick and in bed for a week with high fever.
It is especially important for children to get the flu shot, or flu mist, which works just as well. Because children are around so many people – from peers to teachers, siblings to adults and grandparents – children are the biggest carriers of the flu and giving them the vaccine can protect a wide range of people.
Myth: You should wait until it is cold outside to get your flu vaccine.
“Some people are worried that if you get the vaccine too soon, it will wear off by the time winter gets here,” said Dr. Cunningham. “The truth is vaccinating people even in August will protect them throughout the entire flu season. This also includes the elderly who typically have been the group people are most worried about.”
Myth: The flu is only spread by sneezing.
“Germs are pretty easy to pass around and flu is really contagious,” said Dr. Cunningham. “It’s very easy for one child to give it to another child and the next thing you know, they bring it home.”
Because of that, experts say it is important to wash and sanitize your hands often during flu season, and urge children to do the same. The easiest way is to use hand gels, but make sure they contain at least 65 to 95 percent alcohol. If soap and water are nearby, that is even better for protecting against germs. Wash often and lather up. Make sure to completely rinse your hands in order to get the soap and germs off.
Myth: Flu vaccines do not protect you from current strains.
From the H1N1 scare in 2009 to swine flu and the bird flu, each year it seems there is a new strain making headlines. But researchers track the most recent, most dangerous strains, and work to stay one step ahead of it.
“The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pick the strains they think are most likely to circulate in the coming months so that people are protected against everything that may go around,” said Dr. Cunningham. “Every year there are two A strains and one B strain of influenza included in the vaccine.”
The vaccine may leave you feeling a bit warm or achy for a day or two, but with true influenza, someone is sick and in bed for a week with high fever.
- Onset of Flu Season Raises Concerns About Human-To-Pet Transmission(ScienceDaily)
This concept, called “reverse zoonosis,” is still poorly understood but has raised concern among some scientists and veterinarians, who want to raise awareness and prevent further flu transmission to pets. About 80-100 million households in the United States have a cat or dog.
This concept, called “reverse zoonosis,” is still poorly understood but has raised concern among some scientists and veterinarians, who want to raise awareness and prevent further flu transmission to pets. About 80-100 million households in the United States have a cat or dog
- Flu Vaccine: It’s Never Too Soon (kelseyseybold.typepad.com)
- H1N1 & Seasonal Flu Vaccines. (zedie.wordpress.com)
- Officials Urge Residents To Get Flu Vaccine (dfw.cbslocal.com)
- US: CDC targets holdout health workers on flu shots (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- Officials: Flu Vaccine Offers Triple Protection (detroit.cbslocal.com)
CDC Issues Initial 2011-2012 Seasonal FluView Report
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released the initial FluView report for the U.S. 2011-2012 flu season with the message that flu activity is currently low, making this the perfect time to get vaccinated.
- CDC issues initial 2011-2012 seasonal “FluView” report-cnbnews.net (gloucestercitynews.net)
- NIH grantees rebut theory that seasonal flu strains originate in tropical regions (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Flu Season (emilymariec.wordpress.com)
- Annual Childhood Flu Vaccines May Interfere With Development of Crossresistance (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- More Than 690,000 Americans Have Already Been Vaccinated Against The Flu This Season, SDI Reports – Cdc Supports Expanded Access To Flu Vaccination (prweb.com)
- Flu season is coming. Are you ready? (today.msnbc.msn.com)
- Flu Season is Here – Get Vaccinated Today. (franklinmatters.org)