In search of a more effective flu shot

Flu shot: A new study shows that flu shots are effective, at best, up to 59 percent of the time. Researchers are encouraging drug companies to develop new and better flu shots for the future.
Flu shot: A new study shows that flu shots are effective, at best, up to 59 percent of the time. Researchers are encouraging drug companies to develop new and better flu shots for the future.Courtesy r Joseph R Schmitt
Hey, I got my flu shot last week. It's been about 10 years now I've been able to get a free flu shot covered by my health insurance plan. And I'm happy to say I've never had the flu in all that time.

That, of course, is all anecdotal evidence. But some researchers at the University of Minnesota have been studying the issue of flu shots and have some new ideas on the matter. Based on their findings, they're encouraging new research to find a "game-changer" new vaccine to make flu shots more effective.

The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the U released its findings yesterday. And overall, they found that flu shots had, at best, a 59 percent effectiveness rate for adults ages 18 to 64. Effectiveness rates for flu shots for people younger and older than that age group were inconsistent. The nasal-spray vaccine was found to have an efficacy of 83 percent in children ages 6 months to 7 years.

Vaccine manufacturers haven't made any significant changes to flu vaccine formulas for many years, mostly based on the idea that the flu shots were highly effective. But the new report challenges that theory and encourages new research to find different approaches to flu vaccines, with those new approaches aiming to have a higher rate of prevention.

In the meantime, the researchers are still encouraging people to get a flu shot this season. Some protection is better than no protection, they point out. And they also said that their findings showed no reason to believe that flu shots cause any harm to people who receive them.

What do you think? Are you getting a flu shot this year? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

MathBuzzer's picture
MathBuzzer says:

wow does it hurt?

posted on Thu, 10/18/2012 - 7:23am
lewissylvia87's picture
lewissylvia87 says:

Suffering from flu is definitely a terrible part, so to prevent from these issues we used to take beneficial precautions; such as flu vaccines that helps to prevent us from various flu and other diseases. Flu shots are highly effective and also improve our body resistant power to fight against various diseases. I suggest every individual should take flu shot.

posted on Sun, 01/27/2013 - 11:30pm
Rain Man's picture
Rain Man says:

I HATE those stupid ticks they can hurt my dog I just want to rip them all apart into a million pieces- perruques

posted on Tue, 10/29/2013 - 3:22am
hamiltondavid's picture
hamiltondavid says:

Under our health insurance plan we are able to get enough supportive programs on health care issues. Therefore people were always preferred best health insurance plan under which they can get enough opportunities to develop their health status. Flu shot, vaccines and many other supportive programs we have found under our health insurance plans.

posted on Sat, 04/26/2014 - 5:27am

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options