Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-18-2017, 09:58 AM
TubaDiva's Avatar
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
Capo di tutti capi
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: In the land of OO-bla-dee
Posts: 10,808
Infectious diseases and vaccines (This season's flu)

Re Cecil's column this week:

https://www.straightdope.com/columns...g-untreatable/

With the additional news that this year's flu vaccine is not really all that helpful, is it worthwhile to have the shot? Or is it best just to skip it this year?
  #2  
Old 12-18-2017, 10:08 AM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 11,866
You mean, is skipping the shot worth the risk of getting the flu? I'm not a statistician, but I have a high risk lifestyle for catching the flu, I have grandkids. I think I will get the shot.
  #3  
Old 12-18-2017, 10:37 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 29,809
Given the evidence that this year's flu vaccine may only be marginally effective in preventing flu (and noting that even if prevention isn't attained, those vaccinated but infected may well have less severe symptoms), I'd say the news is disappointing but shouldn't keep people from getting flu shots if otherwise eligible for them. It should be a renewed call to action on the holy grail (the "universal" flu vaccine that wouldn't depend on prognosticating antigens that change from year to year).

As to the Cecil column - as it pertains to vaccination it's poorly written, suggesting that human vaccination may be encouraging spread/emergence of serious pathogens, when that is not the case.

"The vaccines widely used by humans today -- especially those used to protect children against mumps, measles, and other potentially deadly ailments -- are what we'd call "perfect" vaccines. But new research suggests that "imperfect" or "leaky" vaccines -- ones that don't make their hosts totally immune to the disease and incapable of spreading it to others -- might have a surprising downside. For now, this so-called leakiness only exists in (a few) vaccines used to treat farm animals. But researchers warn that as humankind tackles bigger, badder diseases, we should keep the potential danger of leaky vaccines in mind."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.68f9185c4f7b

It's important to be clear on this subject, partly because one deceptive antivax meme revolves around the claim that vaccinated kids spread infection, which like other such memes is grossly inaccurate.
  #4  
Old 12-18-2017, 12:37 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 10,388
I got my flu shot several weeks before my cancer diagnosis, and I sure am glad I did!

The "flu shots cause epidemics, etc." warnings usually come from "informative" websites like Newsmax and Breitbart.
  #5  
Old 12-18-2017, 07:16 PM
samclem samclem is offline
Graphite is a great
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 26,202
Is the shot this year totally not for the strain of flu virus we're seeing?

I get it because I have a compromised immune system. Flu can kill me.
  #6  
Old 12-19-2017, 10:50 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 29,809
It looks like the dire warnings about 2017 flu shot ineffectiveness may have been way overstated.

"...flu experts...had watched the vaccine show only 10 percent effectiveness against the H3N2 strain that circulated in Australia, where the flu season has just ended.
But a recent report in the journal F1000 Research found the Australian strain of H3N2 is not identical to the predominant virus circulating in the United States.
"The majority of the viruses are well-covered by the vaccine," said lead researcher Dr. Slobodan Paessler, a professor in the department of pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
"There are some minor groups of viruses that are not well-covered," he added.
"The current vaccine in the U.S., in contrast to the Australian [vaccine], will work because we have most of the American H3N2 viruses, rather than the Australian one," Paessler explained.
Using a computer program to compare the viruses used in the vaccine to the circulating strains of flu in the United States, Paessler and his colleague, Veljko Veljkovic from Biomed Protection in Galveston, found they are a good match. That means the vaccine should be as effective as it was last year."


https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-...year-shot.html
  #7  
Old 12-19-2017, 06:25 PM
samclem samclem is offline
Graphite is a great
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 26,202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
It looks like the dire warnings about 2017 flu shot ineffectiveness may have been way overstated.

"...flu experts...had watched the vaccine show only 10 percent effectiveness against the H3N2 strain that circulated in Australia, where the flu season has just ended.
But a recent report in the journal F1000 Research found the Australian strain of H3N2 is not identical to the predominant virus circulating in the United States.
"The majority of the viruses are well-covered by the vaccine," said lead researcher Dr. Slobodan Paessler, a professor in the department of pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
"There are some minor groups of viruses that are not well-covered," he added.
"The current vaccine in the U.S., in contrast to the Australian [vaccine], will work because we have most of the American H3N2 viruses, rather than the Australian one," Paessler explained.
Using a computer program to compare the viruses used in the vaccine to the circulating strains of flu in the United States, Paessler and his colleague, Veljko Veljkovic from Biomed Protection in Galveston, found they are a good match. That means the vaccine should be as effective as it was last year."


https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-...year-shot.html
So how does the US strain of H3N2 differ from the strains of Australian H3N2? It would seem to me that the name of the strain would be the same in both places? if not, why not call them different things?
  #8  
Old 12-23-2017, 10:32 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 29,809
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
So how does the US strain of H3N2 differ from the strains of Australian H3N2?
Looks like it may relate to hemagglutinin gene sequences.
Quote:
It would seem to me that the name of the strain would be the same in both places? If not, why not call them different things?
I've given up on trying to tell scientists what names to use.*

*still haven't accepted Solenostemon instead of Coleus.
  #9  
Old 12-23-2017, 10:44 AM
RivkahChaya's Avatar
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,831
Attenuation is a big deal. That's what happens when a vaccine works imperfectly, and you still get the disease, but you get a mild case of it. I have a co-worker who got the shot and still got the flu. However, she missed only two days of work, and was completely well after four days of symptoms. She was never flat on her back unable to do anything, the way people are with a typical full-blown flu. She had a nasal swab, so she definitely had the flu, but it passed like a mild cold.

I had pertussis after being vaccinated for it. It lasted three days, instead of the usual two weeks, and I was treated at home with cough syrup (probably codeine) and decongestants. I was three years old, and pertussis could have been extremely serious. According to my mother I had only one day when my cough was "scary." I remember that uncontrollable cough. It felt scary to me. But I also remember that I was mobile, not in bed the whole time. My parents bought me some new books, and a new toy, and read to me a lot, because I had to stay inside the whole time I was sick, plus two days, to make sure I wasn't still contagious. I still have the books, which my parents wrote in, that they were gifts to get me through "whooping cough."

So yes, get the vaccine. Even if you do get sick, it will be helpful.
  #10  
Old 12-23-2017, 10:57 AM
hajario's Avatar
hajario hajario is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Posts: 15,443
Four years ago there was an effective vaccine and a deadly flu. My sister didnít get a shot and the flu killed her. Obviously Iím pretty pro vaccine.

I got a shot this year and Iím sick in bed right now with what I assume is a mild flu. I just had a regular cold like three weeks ago too. No fun at all but I guess it could be worse.
  #11  
Old 12-23-2017, 11:02 AM
Rutherford B Rutherford B is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 31
I just read where over 60% of all deaths in the Civil War were from disease and not from the war.

Vaccines have sure made our lives better.
  #12  
Old 12-25-2017, 12:33 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 20,503
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutherford B View Post
I just read where over 60% of all deaths in the Civil War were from disease and not from the war.

Vaccines have sure made our lives better.
Amen. Now if only we could make a vaccine for war.
  #13  
Old 03-11-2018, 12:26 PM
steadicam steadicam is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 9
As many smarter than I have said, get the vaccination. I do it every year and the one time I didn't I got the flu twice. All the testimony here is anecdotal, but the science behind the vaccinations is not. I see the antivax people as natures way of reducing the population of the mis/uninformed. Not that wish them any harm mind you, just that the risk of this year's flu is real and many have already succumbed. I say why chance it.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:03 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017