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"Flu Shots don't protect the elderly" is inaccurate
 

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Dangerous Bacon Views: 4,345
Published: 14 years ago
 
This is a reply to # 1,021,930

"Flu Shots don't protect the elderly" is inaccurate


For the full story, see this:


http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/general/news/sep2305vaccin...


"The researchers found that flu vaccines, when well matched to circulating flu strains, reduced the risk of hospitalization for flu or pneumonia by 45% for elderly (65 or older) nursing home residents. For people living at home, flu vaccines were 26% effective in preventing hospitalization for flu or pneumonia...

For elderly residents of nursing homes who received vaccines well matched to circulating flu strains, the vaccines yielded risk reductions of 23% for flu-like illness, 46% for pneumonia, 45% for hospitalization for flu or pneumonia, 42% for death from flu or pneumonia, and 60% for death from any cause...risk reductions were 26% for hospitalization for flu or pneumonia and 42% for all-cause mortality. Vaccines did not reduce the risk of hospitalization for heart disease or the risk of death from respiratory disease.

However, vaccination looked somewhat more beneficial for community dwellers when the authors adjusted for confounding variables, including sex, age, smoking, and other illnesses. In that analysis, vaccines reduced the risk of all-cause mortality by 47% and lowered the risk of hospitalization by 24% for heart disease and 22% for respiratory diseases...The study authors write that on the basis of their findings, "We believe efforts should be concentrated on achieving high vaccination coverage in long-term care facilities coupled with a systematic assessment of the effect of such a policy. One possible way to improve this strategy might involve the vaccination of carers [caregivers] in an effort to reduce transmission."

The federal government took steps in that direction last month, announcing that nursing homes that serve Medicare recipients would be required to offer flu shots to residents. The government also wants to increase vaccination coverage for nursing home staff members, but there are no plans to require vaccination for them."

Since the study found that flu vaccination was capable of reducing mortality among the elderly by 47-60%, the allegation that "Flu Shots don't protect the elderly" is incorrect.

The "Healthy News Service" appears to get its medical opinions from spin doctors.
 

 
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