This would be an improvement on this year to year shuffle for vaccine effectiveness.
Category Archives: Influenza
Most of us in medicine know that these drugs don’t do much but they are expensive.
This is another one of those whaaat? moments.
So Guillain Barre’ Syndrome is an ascending motor peripheral neuropathy causing weakness progressing sometimes to respiratory failure. Killed a few people, caused permanent weakness and disability too.
It was a complication seen at higher than usual rates in swine flu vaccinations during the Ford administration swine flu vax hasty roll out.
Now this paper discussed by MedScape claims a protective effect from flu vax.
The model showed a small reduction in absolute risk of GBS with vaccination compared with no vaccination for a hypothetical 45-year-old woman (−0.36/1 million vaccinations; 95% credible interval, −1.22% to 0.28%), as well as for a hypothetical 75-year-old man (−0.42/1 million vaccinations; 95% credible interval, −3.68% to 2.44%).
“[T]he tendency of influenza vaccination to reduce a person’s overall risk of acquiring GBS under many conditions (although the absolute risk differences are extremely small) should strengthen confidence in the safety of influenza vaccination and allow health professionals to better put the risk of GBS in context when communicating risks and benefits to potential vaccines.”
However the rate of GBS is low and the benefit measure appears to include a confidence interval that crosses no effect.
I would always be hesitant to assert benefit or risk when the confidence interval (they call it credible interval) includes no effect.
I won’t say that Tamiflu is a great drug because it isn’t–but it may reduce length and severity of flu.