Sunday, March 2, 2008

Another Flu Season, Another Vaccine Failure

In hospitals across the country, patients are in intensive care units, battling off complications due to influenza. Many of these patients received the flu vaccination for this year -- however, the 3 strains included in the vaccine gave no protection to the strains that dominated this year's flu season. The major factor in the intensifying epidemic is the Brisbane/10 strain -- the CDC, WHO, and FDA (organizations ultimately deciding which 3 influenza strains are included in next year's vaccine) are aware of the severity of this particular strain but had not predicted it to be present this year. Dr. Michael Osterholm has called for a "Manhattan Project" to create a flu vaccine that does not need to be reformulated each year. However, such a vaccine is years off. Until Osterholm's "Manhattan Project" is accomplished, the CDC, WHO and FDA must continue to work tirelessly to predict what the influenza viruses next move will be...

-Tad Henry

No comments: