Last week my wife and son got the flu and after all family flu shots over the last few years the flu really shook my confidence in the flu shot. Well in researching I found that there is one very recent study showing that although the flu shot is not a cure all the flu shot reduced the incidence of the flu by 30%. Definitely with it don’t you think?
In a four-season observational study, having a flu shot was also associated with fewer doctor visits for influenza-like illness and better school performance, according to Kristin Nichol, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Minnesota.
The findings suggest college students can expect “substantial benefits” from getting vaccinated, Dr. Nichol and colleagues said in the December issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Acute upper respiratory infections during the flu season cause substantial morbidity among college students, the researchers said, much of it caused by influenza itself.
Studies of the benefits of vaccination among adults have focused on workplace outcomes — such as reduced absenteeism — but similar studies have not looked at college and university students, Dr. Nichol and colleagues said.
To clarify the issue, they looked at full-time students at the University of Minnesota during four flu seasons, adding students from St. Olaf College, in Northfield, Minn., during the final season.
Students were invited to participate in a series of e-mail surveys in October of each study year — 2002/2003 through 2005/2006 — with the flu seasons in each year defined retrospectively using surveillance data from the state health department.
Over the four years, a total of 19,796 students completed the baseline questionnaire and 17,998 filled out at least one follow-up survey. Of the latter group, 12,975 said whether they had been vaccinated.
Overall, the study found, 30.2% of the 12,795 who provided flu shot data had been vaccinated and 24.1% had an influenza-like illness during the flu season.