We’re coming into the busiest time of the year. October brings Halloween parties, decorations and lots of unhealthy treats. Thanksgiving brings football, parades and a feast with family. And in December, there are gift-giving, Christmas trees, Christmas cookies, community caroling, and special religious events.
But the CDC, Big Pharma and even your doctor want to rain on your parade. They want to harsh your mellow. They want to turn those holiday smiles into the frowns, worrying about a monster they want you to believe can kill you. Yes, you guessed it…it’s time for the annual “Flu Scare.”
In 2010, the CDC began recommending annual flu shots for infants, beginning at 6 months of age. The current recommendation is for everyone – from infants to the elderly to the infirm – to get their annual flu shot. That sounds like marching orders, and if you are not careful, you may end up being trampled by the hordes of people flocking to their doctor’s office, a pharmacy, a senior center or even grocery store to be inoculated and sent on their merry way.
Let’s look at some facts. In May 2018, a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases estimated the incidence of “symptomatic influenza” each year across the U.S. Surprisingly, between 2010 and 2016, the incidence of influenza among all ages ranged from 3.0% to 11.3%, with median values of 8.3%.
What isn’t known is how many of the 8.3% had the flu shot, but contracted the illness anyway.
Influenza is an illness caused only by influenza viruses. Flu shots are designed to protect only against influenza viruses and the three or four viruses in the vaccine must “match” the influenza viruses in circulation, or they don’t protect at all.