Friday, February 06, 2015

Blog #1: Flu vaccine given to millions in the UK barely works

   The main gif of this article is how the main strain of influenza has mutated since the jab was prepared. Within this article they refer to the vaccine as a jab. The specific subtype they are focusing on is A(H3N2) and is the dominant strain circulating around the globe especially in the UK. This strain is particularly lethal among the elderly in general but more so those hospitalized or in home care facilities. Studies proved that the jab is only working in 3% of the people given it, where usually it would normally be effective in around one half of the cases. It has been thought that those who were vaccinated may have a higher chance of getting the dominant strain, but they have concluded it just does not protect against this particular strain. The reason why this happened is because the decisions about which strains of flu would most likely to be circulating this winter was taken 12 months ago by the World Health Organization, with different vaccines recommended for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Dr. Richard Pebody, PHE's (Public Health England) head of flu surveillance said: "the World Health Organization monitors influenza globally and each year recommends the strains of flu virus that should be included in the flu vaccine for the coming flu season. The problem with this is that the process begins in February and is completed around August/September to produce sufficient quantities of the flu vaccine. It is all a prediction of what will circulate the following year, leaving room for slip ups just like this year. The research completed warns that the mismatch between the vaccine and the virus is the lowest recorded in a decade. The only bright side is that the current vaccine continues to protect against flu A(H1N1) and the flu B.

Anna Hunsucker
6 February 2015

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