Getting a flu shot – or not? This is what you need to know

Getting a flu shot – or not? This is what you need to know

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  1. Evidence based medicine September 14, 2017 at 11:51 am · Reply

    Look at the following Cochrane Reviews for the benefits from flu vaccines:

    A summary on Medscape:

    In short, if you are a healthy adult, there is little to no evidence that getting a flu shot is helpful.

    • I thank the original poster for providing links to Cochrane studies on this subject. I have reviewed the studies to which he or she links, and I believe that there are details that readers may find useful as they think about this subject.

      Regarding the first linked study ( the researchers did not look at the incidence of influenza in vacinated populations, but rather, it looked at rates of hospital admissions of nursing home patients living in facilities in which patient care providers were vaccinated. The reviewed studies are therefore not directly relevant to the question of vaccination efficacy in people who are vaccinated vs. those who are not. The Cochrane reviewers also noted that the studies reviewed yielded “moderate quality evidence” in one example, “low quality evidence” in two studies, and “very low quality evidence in two additional studies.

      In the second example ( the Cochrane reviewers looked at much larger studies, which usually would yield more reliable results. However, the Cochrane reviewers note that, “The real impact of biases could not be determined for about 70% of the included studies (e.g. insufficient reporting details, very different scores among the items evaluated). About 20% of the included studies (mainly cohorts) had a high risk of bias. Just under 10% had good methodological quality.”

      In short, careful reading of the Cochrane reviews referenced by the original poster do not provide information that is likely to be useful to most people who are considering influenza vaccination. Such individuals are best advised to consult with their personal physicians for more relevant and reliable assistance in making decisions about influenza vaccination.

      Thanks again to the O.P. for his or her post.

  2. It was great how you mentioned that regular flu vaccines ensure that I and the people who are easily vulnerable to diseases are safe. There is no reason for a person not to get a flu vaccine especially now that different strains of infection come out almost on a daily basis. I actually plan on getting a vaccine next week. Your article just supported my idea even further. Thanks!

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Nathan Lurz
Nathan Lurz

Nathan Lurz, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. He has nearly a decade of professional news experience as a reporter and editor, and a lifetime of experience as an enthusiastic learner. On the side, he enjoys writing even more, tabletop games, reading, running and explaining that his dog is actually the cutest dog, not yours, sorry.