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Annual flu shots: do they decrease your risk?

Photo: NRCgov via Flickr

Preliminary study results from the Centers for Disease Control and the University of Michigan show getting a flu shot in consecutive years could actually lower your protection.

Researchers measured 328 households in Michigan before and during the flu season. Based on the reports of 2,697 people from Michigan and other participating states, the seasonal flu vaccine was found to be only 56% effective.

To discuss these findings, Michael Osterholm, Ph.D., director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research, spoke with KARE-TV.

“We have learned that if you have been vaccinated repeatedly, year after year, the subsequent protection you get in ‘follow-out’ years may be much lower than if you get vaccinated sporadically, every couple of years,” said Osterholm. “This is preliminary data, but there are more studies coming that likely support it.”

For now, Osterholm feels we need to wait for the results of the studies mentioned to truly understand the effects repeated flu vaccine has on the human immune system.

To view the whole piece on KARE-TV, click here.

To read the preliminary research results from the CDC/University of Michigan, click here.

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