Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Is the Flu Shot Right for You?

We have been told for years that we must get a flu shot every year. Those over 65 were especially encouraged to get a shot. Recently, however, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota issued a report suggesting that in reality, a flu shot offers little protection to those over 65. In fact, it as found that the flu shots of today offer only a limited degree of protection for those younger than 65.

In the New York Times dated, November 6, 2012, reporter Roni Caryn Rabin analyzes the results of that study. "Reassessing Flu Shots as the Season Draws Near," She points out that while there are many studies that purport to show the benefits of flu shots for those over 65, those studies really only show that those over 65 who take care of themselves physically, are less likely to get the flu or suffer serious illness as a result of contracting the flu.

So, what should you do? Since there is probably no harm in getting the shot, I plan on getting one. In addition, I think everyone should make sure they are careful in what they touch and who they come in contact with-----avoid public hand rails and those persons who sneeze or cough. And remember: good old-fashioned soap and water is the best remedy to avoid the flu. So, wash those hands as often as you can.

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