Time is running out, better get your flu shot. That’s what news agencies around the country are urging Americans to do. Roll up their sleeves, despite the fact it’s too late to really develop adequate antibody defense, and get jabbed with a largely ineffective and somewhat problematic flu vaccine.
While the Centers for Disease Control says the flu strikes 5-to-20% of the population in any given year, the flu is only evident in 0.8 to 1.3% of the blood samples taken from virally-infected individuals so far this year. [Centers Disease Control]
Public health authorities appear dumbfounded. “It is a very slow season, locally, statewide, and nationally,” said Caroline Johnson, director of disease control for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. “Everything seems to be much lower than usual.” [Philly.com]
Very few pediatric deaths have been reported. Children and senior adults are the most vulnerable to life-threatening bouts of the flu.
The number of annual flu deaths is overstated. Health authorities claim over a 30-year period 3,000 to 49,000 Americans die of the flu annually. [Centers for Disease Control] This year doesn’t even come close to those numbers. Just what to do now with over 170 million doses of flu vaccine?