Every spring, federal health officials select two influenza A virus strains (usually H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes) and one or two influenza B virus strains to include in flu vaccines released in the fall. In December, CDC informed us that one of the A strains selected for the vaccine for this year was “starting to drift.” So what does that mean? It means that the mutating subtype of the A strain causing this year’s disease is not in the flu vaccine used for inoculation.
Well, so you had the shot, does it confer some help with the symptoms if you get the strain that’s winning the flu war? No, it doesn’t. Does it help at all? Hmmm, big arguments on that subject, but it probably does not, even a little bit.
If you go back to 2003-2004, a similar process occurred. It was determined that the vaccine being prepared was not going to work on the virus that was active. The vaccine makers told the government they couldn’t include the mutated H3N2 subtype because they would miss the fall 2003 delivery and marketing deadline. The government knew that and yet approved the vaccine.
Then there’s the 2012-2013 where the vaccine was about 40% effective. That wasn’t about the drift problem, it was about a manufacturing problem, where a mismatch was created (by the maker).
Is it about preventive health then or money? Billions are spent to create genetically engineered flu vaccines that contain insect and animal DNA, trying to prevent the flu with its often serious effects on international health and disease control, and its obvious secondary infections. Vaccine manufacturers should be accountable for their mistakes and full disclosure of the information scientifically discovered should be made available to the public BEFORE they opt to get the shot.
Information from the CDC as a handout is given to those receiving the shot. It provides all the reasons to have the shot, the side effects, reactions, etc., so they just need to add, “this vaccine has only a 14% probability of preventing the flu this year” (that’s the prevailing percentage this year).