A new study has confirmed what many of us have probably suspected all along: Flu shots are a lot more hit-or-miss in terms of protection than we've previously been led to believe.
And actually, since flu shots shield us only from whatever strains doctors think will be dominant -- not from all the other nasty bugs that might be floating around out there -- the vaccine is providing "moderate protection" at best. Meaning it’s only about 59 percent effective in healthy adults. Great.
Let's face it: That sounds pretty unimpressive.
The researchers who conducted the study agree; they're clamoring for the vaccines to be improved. In the meantime, I don't know about you, but I'll probably keep getting my flu shot each year, rolling into the local pharmacy, rolling up my sleeve, and rolling the dice that the vaccine will lower my risk of getting sick that season.
Why? Well, because, so far, at least, nothing obviously bad has happened as a result. And while, yes, especially now that I have kids who seem to bring home each and every illness that rolls through their classroom (sure, they get flu shots, too), I realize that I won't be able to stop every cough and sniffle, if I can avoid even one bout of the flu this season, it will be worth it.
That's one week less of misery, one more week of remaining healthy, upright, and out of bed: making lunches, going to work, driving the car pool, helping with schoolwork, pulling together dinner, cleaning the dishes -- wait a minute, now that I think about it, catching the flu and getting a little rest is starting to sound like kind of a good deal ...
Will you get a flu shot this season?
Image via @alviseni/Flickr