News that Vexes

News that Vexes

It's so tiresome to read 'new studies' that reveal Smoking, Stress or Obesity are Bad for you. Yet these studies appear all the time. It's time to take back the newswire from so-called Scientists!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Flu Shots? What day is it?

Here at News That Vexes, we have long contemplated a special section with a two-column format where scientists can battle it out. Will a drink a day kill you - or will it make you live longer? As we all know, coffee is good, no wait - bad, wrong! good for you. When blogging software has an easy 2-column template for a lazy editor to use, you'll be the first to see it here.

As a case in point, just today we read two stories: Flu jab cuts illness and death in elderly and Flu vaccines may not save elderly lives: experts

In one corner:
In a study of relatively healthy elderly HMO members, getting a flu shot significantly reduced the odds of being hospitalized with an influenza-related ailment and of dying. "Our study confirms that influenza vaccination is beneficial for reducing hospitalization and death among community-dwelling HMO elderly over a 10-year period," lead author Dr. Kristin L. Nichol, from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, told Reuters Health.
In the other,
Getting an annual flu vaccine may not save the lives of seniors, and health officials may want to look at other ways to protect the elderly, researchers said on Monday. No studies have conclusively proven that influenza shots prevent flu-related deaths in people over the age of 65, and some of the arguments that have been used to support this idea are based on faulty data, the researchers argue in the Lancet medical journal. [Translation: "In Your Face, Dr. Nichol!"]

I guess we should keep it simple and get the shot every other year.


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