10 February 2008

Flu Shot Duds

The Denver Post reports today that this year's flu shot is a dud against one of the most virulent flu viruses circulating this season, an Australian variant of a strain that was vaccinated against.

My household, of course, all of whom got their flu shots in a timely fashion this past fall learned this the hard way over the past week.

First Australia brings us colony collapse disorder wiping out our bees. Then they bring us a nasty case of the flu. Coincidence? I think not. We need to invade Australia now for the stealthy biowarfare.

More seriously, these incidents show just how impotent our nation would be in response to a pandemic flu epidemic. I'm less concerned than some about bird flu in particular and our lack of ER capabilities (discussed here). It seems to me that the real problem is that early recognition and prevention is very difficult to pull off and that sometime, somewhere, a bad virus will break through the defenses.

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