More on the Effectiveness of the Flu Vaccine

Driving into work today I caught the NPR story with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. I had no idea that the effectiveness of the flu vaccine varies so much from year to year! Some years it is nearly zero and some years it is more than 50%; but, it may not be more than 50% in a good year. However, it is absolutely better to get vaccinated than not.

The other thing that was emphasized was the value of Tamiflu if used early enough. Even though it only shortens the duration of the illness a little bit and you will still feel bad, it dramatically decreases the likelihood that you get a secondary infection or require hospitalization.

It’s a great interview. Check it out here.