The flu vaccine is not 100% effective in preventing you from becoming ill with the flu. So are flu vaccines a waste of time and money? Flu vaccines are produced based off of educated predictions. The vaccines are also limited to the number of strains they can carry.
The Influenza (flu) virus exists in multiple strains each year because the flu virus mutates. The mutations cause the virus to be unrecognized by your body’s immune system which can result in you becoming ill with the flu.
The different strains of the flu virus are collected and sent to The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and are analyzed for severity and number of infections they have caused. The CDC publishes their findings for experts to review and predict which three or four strains are most likely to cause problems. Why three or four strains? Because the vaccinations are limited to three or four strains. Once experts make recommendations on the three to four strains, companies begin producing the vaccine.
There are two main reasons why you may still get the flu even though you get the vaccination. First, the vaccine is produced based off of a prediction. While experts are fairly accurate in their predictions, they can’t be 100% accurate. Secondly, there are more strains of the flu than what can be included in the vaccine.
So is a flu vaccine a waste of your time?
If you receive a vaccination, your immune system will be ready for the three or four strains most likely to cause a severe infection and infect a large population.
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