At any time, influenza can change from a routine seasonal virus to a deadly pandemic. The 1918 flu epidemic killed more people than all of the battles of WWI combined.
According to a new report from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy(CIDRAP), current influenza vaccines offer less protection against seasonal influenza than previously reported. According to Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H., University of Minnesota infectious disease expert and the CCIVI report’s lead author. "The present vaccines... do not offer consistent, high-level protection – especially in individuals at risk of medical complications or those aged older than 65 years. Unfortunately, these are the populations where we need the vaccines to work the best. We need new influenza vaccines that work for everyone, most of the time.” SOURCE: http://www.health.umn.edu/healthtalk/2012/10/15/new-u-of-m-led-analysis-finds-urgent-need-for-new-influenza-vaccines/
We trust you are familiar with a new late 2012 report from the University of Minnesota," The Compelling Need for Game Changing Influenza Vaccines". This was issued by the CIDRAP Comprehensive Influenza Vaccine Initiative (CCIVI) after a review of more than 12,000 peer-reviewed documents. This report, as its name suggests, concluded that vaccines do not work as well as they can and should among "the populations where we need the vaccines to work the best"
Specifically, the report indicated that the CCIVI research team found that injectable trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines (TIV):
Protects healthy adults 18 to 64 years of age at a rate of ONLY around 59 percent
Lacks consistent evidence of protection in children age 2 t-17 and
Inconsistent evidence of any protection iat all for adults 65 +.
In conclusion, they noted that "we need new influenza vaccines that work for everyone, most of the time."
Please review the report and weigh carefully the need to increase research and development NIH grant funding to address this previously-unknown deficit in our nation's defense against potentially devastating disease.