Saturday, November 25, 2017

Why Does The Flu Vaccine Only Last For A Year?

From: John C.
Sent: November 25, 2017
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Fw: Why Does The Flu Vaccine Only Last For A Year?

Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2016-2017 Influenza Season - CDC

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Increasing the number of people who get vaccinated each year helps to protect more people, including older people, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications. This page summarizes information for the 2016-2017 flu season. ...

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How long does the flu vaccine last?

The flu vaccine works by stimulating the body to produce antibodies to fight viruses with molecular components that resemble those of the vaccine. The effectiveness of the vaccine depends on at least three factors: 1) how closely the vaccine's components match those of the virus causing a given season's outbreak; 2) how effectively the body was stimulated to produce antibodies; and 3) how long these antibodies last. Some seasons are better than others in terms of matching the vaccine to the viruses that end up actually causing outbreaks. The better the match, the better the protection. However, since flu viruses mutate rapidly, the degree of matching drops off dramatically each season. Also, different groups of people tend to have different levels of antibody production in response to the vaccine. Individuals with a greater response to the vaccine will thus have better and longer lasting protection. Furthermore, as antibody levels fade (by approximately 50% in the first six months, with some leveling off over the next couple of years) so does protection. These are the reasons the CDC recommends annual flu shots for adequate protection each flu season. ...

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Can a flu shot wear off if you get it too early? Perhaps

It can be jarring to see placards advertising “Flu Shots Today” in late July or early August in 80-degree weather. But those signs may be more than just an unwelcome reminder that summer’s days are numbered. Mounting scientific evidence is raising questions about whether vaccinating people that early may actually be undermining the effectiveness of the nation’s massive flu vaccination program. Studies from the US and Europe have detected a steady decline in vaccine protection in the months after vaccination. The most recent research, published just last month by scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that the vaccine’s effectiveness was reduced by more than half for a couple of strains of flu, and had diminished almost entirely for another by five or six months after vaccination. ...

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