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Is The Flu Patch Worth Getting?

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When it comes to protecting yourself from the flu this year, there is a new kid on the block.  A new “microneedle” flu vaccine is on the market just in time for the paid media hype to warn you of the dangers of avoiding the flu vaccine.

The new vaccine has very tiny needles that dissolve after dispensing the virus into your body. 


(Do they dissolve into my body??) 


According to medical websites, the annual flu shot is about 50-60% effective.  One news agency says that this year’s flu vaccine will be about 48% effective.  


So it is a coin flip, but the newest pharmaceutical marketing endeavor is to shame you for not getting a flu shot.  Sure it may not work for you, but because it is protecting others around you from the flu, as the story goes, you need to stop being so selfish. 


I’ve done the math and if it confers 48% protection, this argument doesn’t work.


Trying to vaccinate more Americans against the flu by using less painful methods isn’t new.  You might recall the disaster created by FluMist, an FDA approved nasal squirt method.  Even the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended against it.  Said one expert, “To everyone’s surprise and increasing consternation, this vaccine has performed quite poorly compared to the injectable vaccine.”  


So, it’s back to the flu injection, which quite honestly, has suffered from it’s own public relations nightmares though the years.  Two years ago, Vaccines News ran this headline:  “CDC admits that last year’s flu shot was one of the most ineffective vaccines to date.” (Again, I’m thinking of a coin flip and wondering what happened to science.  Nonetheless, the hype is soon to begin, so be prepared.)


The flu shot is showing dismal results and the nasal flu vaccine didn’t work. This newest “patch” method may or may not work, but when your success averages less than 50%, you’ve got to find something new to try to energize your base.


We will all be told that we must get a flu shot again this year…TV news show will show long lines of 99-year old people waiting in the snow to get their flu shots.  Crying babies have been a big sell for flu shots, also, so be prepared. But the fact is, flu viruses circulate in the air.  Whether or not you get a flu shot, sniff, or patch, your immune system is already at work protecting you from this year’s flu.  Immunity is a function of your health, so the most important message I can deliver is this:

It isn’t the floating flu germs that dictate whether or not you will get the flu, but the condition of your immune system.


I’ve never thought it was coincidental that flu season is holiday season.  It begins with Halloween and candy, and ends with Valentines Day and candy.  Sugar impedes your immune system, so at times when flu viruses are known to be circulated by the wind from other countries, simply exercise caution…..or not, and get a flu shot.  


Either way, you have a 50% chance of not getting the flu, but I believe that better health is achieved when you’ve learned how to beat, rather than treat, a disease.




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