Scientists are advising not to follow Walgreens and CVS ads and wait until Flu season is on to get vaccinated. Many experts have complained the fact the Flu vaccine has become part of a sophisticated marketing strategy. Flu season will not start until a few months, but if somebody enters a CVS or a Walgreens, they will find huge posters claiming “Flu Shots, Now Available, NO WAIT.”
A few years ago this campaign used to start in October, no August, but since the passing of state laws that permit pharmacists to give vaccinations and the vast number of drugstores that now offer retail “medical clinic” services, the businesses are trying to get most out of it. Tom Charland, founder and CEO of Merchant Medicine, claims “it’s a way to get people to the store to buy other things.” And apparently is an excellent business, especially when regarding millennials.
Nonetheless, many doctors are claiming that people are letting themselves be fooled with the marketing campaigns, and are forgetting actual “medical wisdom.” Scientists are not sure how long the vaccine immunity lasts, so getting it too soon might leave the persons defenseless when the Flu season finally arrives.
However, federal health officials defend themselves by stating that and an early vaccine is better than no vaccine at all, which might be true, but as said by the health professionals, is better an optimal protection that a waving shield.
Laura Haynes, an immunologist at the University of Connecticut Center on Aging, agrees with Charland and advise senior adults against getting the flu shot before October. Those who are older than sixty-five have weaker immune systems, which makes the effects of the vaccine last less.
For how long is active the Flu shot?
Dr. John J. Treanor, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Rochester Medical school, says there are “very mixed” opinions regarding how long the Flu shot would last on the body.
For some specialists, the vaccine loses its effects after just a Flu season. This means that those who vaccinated on August would be vulnerable to the end of February, where the Flu usually peaks.
For others, it lasts a whole year, so the person should not be worried about getting the shot too soon. It is also important that the vaccine is well-matched with the strain of flu virus that shows up that particular year.
When the person gets vaccinated at the optimal time with the correct shot, the risk of getting the flu gets reduced by more than fifty percent.
As usual, children are more vulnerable to the Flu, and as such, parents should be very cautious and not follow the anti-vaxxers campaigns and vaccinate their children since thy are six months old. This will also help to keep seniors healthy since grandparents tend to get infected from their grandsons.
Although many believe the Flu is not a big deal, the illness is responsible for killing between 3,300 and 49,000 Americans every Flu season.
As stated by CDC in a press release, for the upcoming Flu season the vaccines will be equipped with two H1N1 and H3N2 influenza strains, as well as one or two B strains.