Flu shots are the most popular and widely accepted adult vaccine there is. Flu shots and tetanus shots rarely have their effectiveness questioned by mainstream sources. However, it has always been difficult to ignore the flu shot’s poor effectiveness. The lowly results often end up being published annually in articles which explain that “next year’s version will be much improved.” This tends to recycle the faithful to lining back up at their local drug stores.
But now new research via The Scripps Research Institute is citing data that explains why the flu shot is so ineffective. Whether or not you agree with the results of the research, the greater point may well be that mainstream news sources are admitting to the fact that flu shots aren’t all that great.
Here are the results.
According to a new study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), the common practice of growing influenza vaccine components in chicken eggs disrupts the major antibody target site on the virus surface, rendering the flu vaccine less effective in humans.
“Now we can explain—at an atomic level—why egg-based vaccine production is causing problems,” said TSRI Research Associate Nicholas Wu, Ph.D., first author of the study, published recently in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
For more than 70 years, manufacturers have made the flu vaccine by injecting influenza into chicken eggs, allowing the virus to replicate inside the eggs and then purifying the fluid from the eggs to get enough of the virus to use in vaccines.
“Any influenza viruses produced in eggs have to adapt to growing in that environment and hence generate mutations to grow better,” explained study senior author Ian Wilson, D.Phil., Hansen Professor of Structural Biology at TSRI.
In an email exchange with the San Diego Tribune, Dirk Zajonc, an associate professor at the La Jolla Institute of Allergy & Immunology, further condemned the methods used to produce the flu shot.
“As a result, the generated antibodies bind to the circulating virus only poorly and without effective viral neutralization,”
“The immune system simply doesn’t encounter the same virus that it has seen during immunization.”
“Careful what you vaccinate with.”