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Simplifying Science

Flu Vaccine Fallacies

This morning's headlines about flu vaccine pissed me off because snarkiness replaced fact. Yesterday the CDC announced that the strains of circulating influenza virus have mutated, so the match between the flu vaccine and the current illness going around isn't great. Based upon tests of circulating strains of the flu, the vaccine only works against half of them. Not ideal, I agree. But comments from news outlets suggesting that you shouldn't get your flu shot are just plain wrong. All-or-none thinking doesn't work here. It's like saying that someone who is 50 pounds overweight shouldn't try to lose any weight unless he can lose all 50. Silliness. When it comes to health, there can be benefits to partial prevention. I agree, it's not perfect, but some is often better than none.

flu season ahead