The Other Day I Caught a Cold

The other day I caught a cold.  Then my wife caught it from me.  We now believe this was actually a case of the flu.  Which is a surprise because every year I get a flu shot sometime in October.  As I did in 2012.  Our household relies on this so no one gets the flu.  My wife mainly works from home and doesn’t get the exposure I get from my students (many of whom have kids).

I won’t go into the symptoms that indicate flu rather than a cold because this website is offensive enough already.  But after a quick look around the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), I have a pretty good idea what’s going on.  This appears to be a beta test of the U.S. government’s solution to the financial problems facing Social Security and Medicare (and Obamacare as it is currently written).

The pullquote below is a long quotation from the CDC’s website.  Let me summarize the relevant parts.  For people older than 65 (which includes me, but not my wife),  Incidentally, VE stands for vaccine effectiveness.

  • “…the VE against flu A and B viruses ranged from 27% in people 65 and older…”
  • “…VE against flu A (H3N2) viruses in people 65 and older was significantly lower than in other age groups.
  • “Overall, VE estimates suggest that the 2012-2013 flu vaccine has moderate effectiveness for most people against the flu viruses spreading in the United States, similar to previously published reports. The one exception to this was the VE among people 65 and older against flu A (H3N2) viruses, which was lower. The single point estimate for VE in this age group was 9% (95% CI: -84% to 55%). Note that because the confidence interval crossed zero for the 65 and older age group, this estimate is not statistically significant, and therefore, the results should be interpreted with caution.”

Got that?  The government is trying to kill us old folks.  Their first attempt was the distribution of “free” cheese to those 65 and older.  Unfortunately (for the government, not for us elderly), Big Pharma invented the statin drugs which are keeping us alive longer than the government prediction.  So here we have a second try: a flu vaccine that just happens to not work very well against old folks.  Gotta hand it to the folks in Washington, D.C.  This is almost better than trying to use a poisoned cigar to assassinate Fidel Castro.

What are CDC’s current estimates of flu vaccine effectiveness this season?

… Overall, the VE estimate for protecting against having to go to the doctor because of flu illness was 56% for all age groups (95% confidence interval: 47% to 63%). … This VE estimate means that getting a flu vaccine this season reduced the vaccinated population’s risk of having to go to the doctor because of the flu by more than half. However, VE can vary across age groups and across different flu viruses, so CDC further analyzed the VE estimates to adjust for these factors. When broken down by different age groups, the VE against flu A and B viruses ranged from 27% in people 65 and older to 64% in children (aged 6 months to 17 years old). …

… The one exception to [the overall VE] was the VE among people 65 and older against flu A (H3N2) viruses, which was lower. The single point estimate for VE in this age group was 9% (95% CI: -84% to 55%). …. Overall, this estimate means that vaccine effectiveness was lower than expected in this age group against flu A (H3N2) viruses. …