The Zoomer Report: Flu shots

Another flu season is upon us, and infectious disease experts are sticking with recommending widespread vaccination despite a study suggesting its benefits may have been overstated.

Every year, flu experts make an educated guess about which flu strains end up being the most common before deciding which ones to include in the vaccine the following year. Dr. Don Low, microbiologist in chief at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital admits that for 2007, flu experts chose the wrong ones.

He says for this year’s vaccine, scientists went back to the drawing board. In a rare move, they identified three new strains, instead of the usual one or two, and developed a new combination that they hope will work better.

He and other infectious disease experts agree it is still important for everyone to get a flu shot, even though a University of Alberta Hospital study concluded the flu vaccine may not be as effective as believed at protecting Zoomers from complications such as pneumonia.

But it still found the flu shot still saves lives, as well as reducing sickness and hospital admissions.

Possible side effects of getting vaccinated can include fever, muscle pain and weakness.

Photo © Digital Skillet Photography


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About The Zoomer Report

Libby ZnaimerLibby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.

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