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Flu Vaccines Failing Seniors

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

senior flu shot

Story at-a-glance -

  • It’s often stated that influenza vaccination reduces hospitalizations and deaths among the elderly, but research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine calls this into serious question
  • While turning 65 was associated with a significant increase in the rate of seasonal influenza vaccination, “no evidence indicated that vaccination reduced hospitalizations or mortality among elderly persons”
  • During the 2018 to 2019 flu season, the influenza vaccine failed to offer any protection more than half of the time, and for adults over 50, it was more or less useless, offering a mere 24% effectiveness rate against all influenza types
  • Health officials also frequently state that if you get an annual flu shot, it will lessen disease severity should you get infected with type A or B influenza, but previous research found only a reduction in initial headache complaints among those who had been vaccinated

Ever since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending that all Americans 6 months of age and older get an annual flu shot, it’s been touted as the best method of preventing influenza.

While it’s true that influenza is a highly infectious airborne disease, controversy exists over the use of influenza vaccines, commonly known as flu shots, for its prevention, and this is particularly true for high-risk groups like seniors.


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