Saturday, February 9, 2008

This Year's Influenza Vaccine: A Bad Prediction?

Several Internists in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area have reported having seen a very large number of patients who reported having received the 2007-2008Influenza vaccine this year but yet are still presenting with flu symptoms and are showing up as infected with Influenza A or B on the QuickVue Test. Doctors back East are marveling at the amount of patients they have seen this year that seem to demonstrate vaccine failure. Although Doctors recognize that the strains included in the vaccine are always a prediction and thus the vaccine does not always provide widespread protection against Influenza, doctors are postulating whether the relatively late emergence of Influenza this year has contributed to the large numbers of influenza illnesses (due to waning immunity...people got vaccinate too early in the flu seaseon) or whether the vaccine was just a poor prediction of currently circulating strains. Regardless, it looks like this year the flu shot may not have been the most effective that it's ever been. Sad.

Becca Briggs

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