October 7th, 2010
12:08 PM ET

Very early results are in for flu vaccine

It's time to get a flu shot, and unlike a year ago, the vaccine is readily available and providing good coverage for the types of flu viruses circulating, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Flu activity was low this summer, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and the strains of flu that have emerged in some sporadic outbreaks are all contained in this year's seasonal flu vaccine.

Last year at this time, the first H1N1 vaccines were just starting to trickle out.  A separate flu shot and spray had to be produced because the seasonal flu vaccine didn't not include protection from the then-new pandemic H1N1 flu virus. That's because the new virus emerged after production of the seasonal flu vaccine began.

In another report published in Thursday's MMWR, the CDC found that the number of children getting a seasonal flu shot did not go up last year. This despite the CDC expanding its vaccine recommendation to cover all children between 6 months and 18 years of age.

Health officials noted that coverage was still low (15.3 percent to 38.4 percent) among older children. This  leaves many children unprotected, the officials said.

According to the CDC, getting a flu shot or nasal spray is still the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu.

Avoiding the flu and being careful about hygiene can protect those who can't get vaccinated, including babies under 6 months of age and those who are allergic to vaccine, for example.

Pregnant women are urged to get a flu shot because they have a weakened immune system during pregnancy. Plus one shot can protect mom-to-be and help protect the newborn.

While some may think the flu is not so bad, it can lead to some severe complications. They include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

The CDC recommends that everyone older than 6 months of age get a flu vaccine. More information can be found on the CDC website.

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soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. Maggie

    2010: A study published in the January 2010 edition of the journal Pediatrics shows that childhood pneumococcal vaccination may be linked to an increase in serious pneumonia complications. Findings from the study's researchers, based in the University of California, Davis, show only that the vaccine is not lowering rates of empyema-associated hospitalization, which have actually increased during the vaccine's use. conclusion says that empyema-associated hospitalization rates have actually increased, not by some small sum, but by a whopping 70% for the study's window: This shows a probable unintended consequence of the pneumococcal vaccination regimen (now recommended by the CDC and mandated in several states) to be an increase of empyema. Empyema is a collection of pus in an anatomical cavity, usually in the lungs' pleura, and is most often associated with serious pneumonia infections.

    October 8, 2010 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BillRubin

      Yes, surveillance of pneumococcal isolates in children with invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) indicates that, after the introduction of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV7) to the routine childhood immunization schedule, there was an increase in the proportion of cases of IPD caused by nonvaccine serotypes (eg, replacement serotypes). However, the increase in IPD caused by nonvaccine serotypes was small compared to the overall decline in IPD. Factors other than the use of PCV7 (eg, patterns of antibiotic use) may contribute to IPD epidemiology.

      October 8, 2010 at 09:58 | Report abuse |
  2. Jess

    I have received the flu shot each year for the past 10 years. Why? Because I was very sick, near death from the flu before. Dehydration kills. I had the flu three years in a row, because I was afraid of getting the flu shot. Did I get a better immune system from it? Absolutely not. I lost time at work, and was very ill.

    Fast forward in time. I have not gotten the flu once since I got the flu shot. I did not get Guillian Barre syndrome. I did not get sick or get a fever. I did not die. Nothing has been implanted in me, my thoughts didn't change. I don't subscribe wholeheartedly to Obama policies after I got the shot. I am the same me. I just have antibodies now. And guess what? I don't have the flu.

    IMHO, you are selfish also if you do not get the flu shot. Maybe you don't mind getting the flu, but maybe those you give the flu to will mind getting it. And if you have contact with the elderly and don't get a flu shot, shame on you.

    I am not a sheep, I made this decision on my own. I work for the NIH, and you people who accuse them of wrongdoing are just fearmongering. It's beyond ridiculous.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob of the Truth

      We are selfish because we don't choose to inject our bodies with various forms of a virus? Jess you are the definition of ridiculous. I'm sure the NIH are good people, my family worked for them. The science is not settled, no matter what you people say. There is too much monetary influence in the whole scheme. The truth is that the flu shot can cause you to get the flu (obviously) and then you can spread it to others – this is a real, documented possibility. It is your CHOICE if you decide to get a shot. But never force it on me, like they tried in NY – and thank God they lost that battle.


      October 8, 2010 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
    • BillRubin

      Bob, influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel in long term care facilities improves patient survival. In a parallel group study, healthcare workers in long term care facilities were offered or not offered influenza vaccination; the rate of vaccination was 51 and 5 percent in the two groups. The rate of patient mortality over 6 months in the winter was significantly lower in the vaccine hospitals (14 versus 22 percent). A similar reduction in patient mortality (10 versus 17 percent) was noted in another study. (Sources below)

      Influenza vaccination for healthcare workers who work with the elderly. Thomas RE; Jefferson T; Demicheli V; Rivetti D Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Jul 19;3:CD005187.

      Effects of influenza vaccination of health-care workers on mortality of elderly people in long-term care: a randomised controlled trial. Carman WF; Elder AG; Wallace LA; McAulay K; Walker A; Murray GD; Stott DJ Lancet 2000 Jan 8;355(9198):93-7.

      Influenza vaccination of health care workers in long-term-care hospitals reduces the mortality of elderly patients. Potter J; Stott DJ; Roberts MA; Elder AG; O'Donnell B; Knight PV; Carman WF J Infect Dis. 1997 Jan;175(1):1-6.

      October 8, 2010 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • BillRubin

      On the other hand, there has been some concern that nasal-mist vaccine (which is live-attenuated) used on healthcare professionals could lead to secondary infections in patients. However, the risk is quite low since the following events would need to occur: 1) the vaccine recipient must shed the attenuated vaccine virus in sufficient quantities to result in transmission, and 2) once acquired, the attenuated virus must revert to wild type to produce disease.

      Cosgrove, SE, Fishman, NO, Talbot, TR, et al. Strategies for use of a limited influenza vaccine supply. JAMA 2005; 293:229.

      October 8, 2010 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
  3. Steven-Jess-BillRubin

    Hi, we are some faggots who don't want people to know the truth. We get paid from the pharmaceutical companies to lie to the general public about how safe vaccines are. We are believers in science and man instead of GOD. The pharmaceutical companies can do no worng as long as they give us our 7.00 an hour. We believe America is perfect and there's no conspiracy in population control. All doctors who actually have a cure or true treatment for any disease or sickness are quacks. We just want to be led by Satan, love everything that is against GOD, so listen to what we have to say because we hate you dumb ass people. Damnit, we hate ourselves. Just get the damn poisonous shot and shorten your life. We want you to die, that's the overall plan.

    October 8, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BillRubin

      This is a perfect example of Argumentum Ad Hominem: the fallacy of attacking the character of an individual who is advancing a statement or an argument instead of trying to disprove the truth of the statement or the soundness of the argument.

      October 8, 2010 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Marshall-in-hiding: the only thing more unforgivable than wanton stupidity is repetitive wanton stupidity.

      October 8, 2010 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
    • sonovagun

      Wow, you must feel really threatened. Good to know you can't manage to prove your case so you resort to cutting and pasting nonsense like this. Poor widdle things.

      October 9, 2010 at 11:12 | Report abuse |
  4. sonovagun

    Gotta love the morons like Joe who call those that believe in science and facts "sheeple" because they choose to protect themselves from preventable diseases. Especially when Joe, claiming he has vast knowledge about the "dangers" of vaccines that we dummies couldn't possibly understand, proceeds to spell "thimerosal" incorrectly THREE DIFFERENT WAYS!

    What can you do but laugh at someone so dumb and deluded?

    October 8, 2010 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      I'll assume you mean the other Joe in this discussion – there are 2 of us here and we certainly don't agree.

      October 9, 2010 at 02:08 | Report abuse |
    • sonovagun

      Yes, I know there are two of you; obviously I'm referring to the other one.

      October 9, 2010 at 09:49 | Report abuse |
  5. Terri

    What can you do but laugh at at someone who all they can do is point out mis-spellings. Ooooo that hurt.l Most of us are at work and are trying to type fast. When presented with hard facts all the other side can do is say we mis-spell words. What else you got?? Talk about evidence, then answer why the government created the vaccine comp fund? Because they do harm people.. It's paid out over 10 million already. Read the inserts on any vaccine package and they admit it causes harm. Severe harm is usually 1-10,000 or 1-100,000 but what if the one person was your son or daughter? Get a life and come back with ONE double blind study on vaccines. AGAIN there isn't one. Until you come back with one study you have ZERO credibility sonovaganwus

    October 8, 2010 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sonovagun

      Oooh, guess I hit a nerve. Poor baby, if you don't like having your lack of education and knowledge pointed out, don't display them. If you can't take the heat, go find yourself a nice cocktail party. If you don't like my posts, don't read them.

      And if you can't prove that thimerosal is harmful, you have no case. None. It's been used for decades, safely. The ONLY reason it's been removed from the production of most vaccines is because of nuts like you. The "harm" that is caused by vaccines is miniscule compared to the harm caused by the illnesses they prevent. If you don't believe it, go live in countries where the majority of the population is unvaccinated and leave the developed world. Enjoy seeing people die or become crippled by polio. Watch as children succumb to pertussis.

      If that's what you want here, tough. The vast majority of people here know better. Too bad your education and intelligence are lacking.

      October 9, 2010 at 09:47 | Report abuse |
    • sonovagun

      "What can you do but laugh at someone who all they can do is point out mis-spellings?"

      Please do tell me how someone who writes this poorly can begin to comprehend anything written at a level beyond that of a 5th grade textbook.

      October 9, 2010 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
  6. Terri

    If anyone is left reading this please take a good hard look at sonovagan's brilliant fact based comebacks...Knock off your lying and fear-mongering. One can only hope the stupid and crazy die of the flu. Joe, you're just simple-minded. You can't even SPELL 'thimerosal" correctly, you dimwitted cretin. Jesus, please have mercy on Valerie's fetus; please give it some brains so it can educate its mother. You dimbulb, the only 'stranger' here is you, ya brain-dead ninny. Valerie, you write like an idjit, you think like an idjit; it's only sensible to assume you are an idjit.. WOW you are so smart sonovagan, with all of your facts and wonderful writing you have convinced everyone that vaccines are good. I really feel bad for you... all you can do is nasty things. Your mom must have been mean to you when you were a child. You should give this up if this is all you can come up with.

    October 8, 2010 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sonovagun

      Why would I need to do anything? The idiocy of the posters upon whom I heap well-deserved scorn are paranoid nut cases who think the CDC, the FDA, Big Pharma, and doctors are involved in a giant conspiracy to bilk the public by selling vaccines. The stupidity of this ridiculous idea speaks for itself. If you're so ignorant you don't know the facts about thimerosal and can't even spell the word, why should I bother to educate you? I'd rather make you the butt of jokes. It's more fun and just as effective. Those that are too dim to see through your nuttiness deserve to get the flu. The innocent–those too ill, too young, or too sick to be vaccinated-are the ones you're really hurting. I'll speak up for them. You? You can kiss my azz.

      October 9, 2010 at 09:32 | Report abuse |
  7. telson


    Information about the swine flu vaccinate and vaccination

    October 9, 2010 at 03:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sonovagun

      Oh, yeah, right. This person is SURELY a reliable source of information. Here's what the cited article says in its last paragraph or so: The prophecy of the Bible says that an antichrist will rise to rule the world in the end times. Evil antichrist set up the new world order where he unites nations, religions and politicians tolerate one another. Deceitful antichrist deceives people of the world and makes peace (false peace) in the Middle East in Jerusalem and Israel. false peace doesn't last long and antichrist leads the world to big devastation. Deceitful antichrist tries to destroy the nation of Israel, but he doesn't succeed in that. God will punish and destroy an antichrist.
      Yes, I'm sure this is a balanced and objective source of information on medical research and the flu vaccine.

      October 9, 2010 at 09:41 | Report abuse |
  8. sonovagun

    Oh, yeah, for those who would rather take the word of Eileen Dannemann than believe what the mainstream medical professionals have to say, here are her educational qualifications. Really impressive:

    B.A., Psychology Hunter College, N.Y.

    30 year practitioner of Transcendental Meditation


    Ahahhahhahhahhhhahahaaa! Thanks for the laugh, bozos.

    October 9, 2010 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Terri

    Bu ah ha ha ha... As I have said show me ONE double blind study done on the flu vaccine. You haven't, won't and can't. Flu vaccines are for sheeple, good luck with your cancer or what ever else you get. Again, look at the CDC website, about 300-1500 people a year actually die from the flu the rest are from pnuenmonia, and 80% of those had pre-existing condintions which is why they died. You don't die from the flu unless you are weak... So i guess you are weak which is why you take it, I feel bad for you and will pray for you. All you need is vitamin D my brother. I am glad someone like you will take the flu shot every year because you will increase your risk for alzheimers by 36% and forget all about these posts. Have a nice life, your mom must be so proud of you to follow blindly through life. I bet you researched your toaster though before you bought it.

    October 9, 2010 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Terri

    Oh I hope your pay check from Big Pharma is worth it...................la la la la la la la

    October 9, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. GenCnslr

    For the record, ALL your cells are diploid except sperm and eggs, and there are no human cells in vaccines (albumin, a stabilizing protein, yes). And do you really think a minute amount of MSG is going to kill you? You never eat potstickers or chow mein? I guess you also never stand next to a street where cars are spewing carbon monoxide or eat toast (char/burnt crust is mutagenic = carcinogenic). Pick your battles, people. I'd rather get a flu shot and NOT give my pregnant patients the flu (or my baby boy who is too young to get the flu shot himself and already spent too much time in the hospital, thank you) than worry about MSG. On another note, last year healthcare workers at my site were given a choice: H1N1 vaccine or wear a mask in all patient areas. I was pregnant, too, and delighted that it was being made available to me. I also didn't bring it home to the rest of my family who weren't on the list of high-priority people, although I had a coworker who had it before she could get the vaccine. Had pneumonia three times as an adult before I started getting a flu shot on a regular basis. Haven't had pneumonia since. Don't know if I ever had the flu, or if it was just coincidence, but I'm more afraid of global warming and malaria than I am of vaccines.

    October 14, 2010 at 02:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. GenCnslr

    I have no preexisting conditions, but I've had pneumonia 3 times as an adult (I'm 30). Can't prove I had the flu initially, but bugger me if pneumonia isn't awful and I'll get a shot to reduce the odds. Maybe I'm weak, but the benefit of medicine is that people with illnesses get better! My husband had his tonsils out in the military because he kept getting infections. Blame pollution for the risk in asthma... and blame asthma for the death due to flu complications. So really, it's Big Oil's fault, right? I'm sure you do your part by biking or walking to work and don't even own a carcinogenic car.

    And for the record, toast will give you cancer. Burnt carbon (burnt food, like toast) is also carcinogenic. You probably ingest more carcinogens in your toasted food daily than I get in my flu vaccine. It's a matter of amount, not just existence.

    October 14, 2010 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Tammy Downs

    everyone on here is stupid. I hope you all get the FLU

    October 14, 2010 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. MattN

    Since I don't have time to read through all of these comments, would a thimerosol-free vaccine this year be safe?

    October 19, 2010 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Rachael

    Oh just anyone to give you proof of just ONE double blind study on any vaccine. THEY DON"T have one.....That's all the proof you need they are bad. They do however have double blind studies for prescription meds.........should make you wonder. Why all of a sudden is High Fructose Corn Syrup starting to go away and everyone making things with real sugar? Because it is causes your body far more damage than regular sugar and the public is waking up. VVVVVVVVVVV

    November 4, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. 21daybeerkeg

    I bet you don't inject burnt toast into your blood stream...........Anyone who injects something into their blood stream that has never been proven to work or has been proven to be safe is the Biggest Moron Ever..............................The Sheeple of this country never cease to amaze me. My kids have never been vaccinated for anything and are hardly ever even get the cold.........Only the strong ones survive baby.............

    November 7, 2010 at 18:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Vaccines K i l l

    I hope people continue to get vaccines, they will be sorry they did later.

    March 4, 2011 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Clint Massei

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    September 22, 2016 at 10:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. turquoise and ivory fascinator

    I really like your writing style, good information, thank you for putting up :D. "Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid." by Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky.


    March 22, 2017 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
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