• 04 SEP 17
    • 0

    Kicking sacred cows: Perhaps flu vaccinations for the very elderly are not advisable?

    In Australia the topic of vaccinations has taken on the tone of a sacred mantra and I have kept well away from that topic as EMF is all the controversy I need at the moment!

    However, for most things we accept as part of modern living there are risk factors to consider, such as the increased risk of a brain tumour with extended use of a cell phone held next to the head.

    Even eating the humble peanut can cause deaths for sensitive individuals which doesn’t mean that we ban the peanut, or the cell phone, but to take sensible precautions to minimize the risk.

    There is also a risk for vaccinations with the need to take a risk-benefit consideration when vaccinating people with compromised immune systems such as the very elderly. Currently, the policy for many Tasmanian nursing homes is to encourage residents to get their annual flu shots to protect against coming down with the illness. Is this good advice? Do the numbers add up? Consider:

    As reported on ABC news, Tasmania’s Strathdevon aged care home last month had 6 residents die of seasonal flu complications  even though 95% of the residents had previously been vaccinated for protection against the flu. Of a total population of 37 residents, 31 came down with flu symptoms, 9 required hospitalisation and 6 died. That doesn’t add up to protection.

    WHY? Perhaps the flu vaccine does not work for elderly people with very compromised immune systems and may, in fact, have given these elderly people the very thing they were vaccinated against. Or perhaps not – that is a risk to consider for elderly people.

    Also see:  https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/06/if-your-immune-system-is-compromised-can-you-get-vaccinated/

    So, for those Generation X people waiting for their elderly baby boomer parent/s in nursing homes to kick the bucket so they can cash in on the inheritance – make sure the oldies get their flu shots…Perhaps two for good measure.  The numbers are looking pretty good….

    Don

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    Six deaths confirmed at Tasmania’s Strathdevon aged care home
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-02/six-flu-nursing-home-deaths-in-tasmania/8866068

    “All precautions to prevent an outbreak ahead of the flu season were taken, with 95 per cent of Strathdevon’s 37 residents receiving a flu vaccination,” it said in the statement.
    “All staff were offered the free vaccine, with a large number of them being immunised.   “Unfortunately, despite these precautions, 31 residents were affected during the outbreak period.
    “All appropriate care was provided, with nine residents admitted to hospital for further treatment.
    “Staff did everything possible to contain and minimise the outbreak and followed all protocols, working closely with Public Health Tasmania and managing according to state Department of Heath infection control guidelines.”

    Six people have died during an influenza outbreak at a nursing home in Tasmania’s northwest, the state’s public health department has confirmed. The department said there had been flu outbreaks in 21 nursing homes across the state and nine were still being monitored. In a statement, director of public health Mark Veitch said it “was a sad event for the families affected, but can occur among frail people during an influenza season”. Those who died were all residents at the Strathdevon aged care facility in Latrobe, near Devonport. The 37-room home is run by Uniting Agewell, an organisation of the Australian United Church. The deaths came after it was confirmed seven elderly residents at St John’s Retirement Village in Wangaratta, in Victoria, died during an influenza outbreak. The ABC has been approached by a concerned family member alleging that the residents passed away in a week “due to the outbreak being rapidly out of control”. She said her father had been diagnosed with flu, and she and her family were advised not to visit for two weeks in August. “It is very much true the home was in complete lockdown for two weeks,” she said. The patient’s daughter said she was told on the phone her father was on antibiotics, but another resident told her he was on the list for the doctor to see. A Government spokesman said the six deaths were over the last two weeks of August. He said the home was not in complete lockdown, but visitors were discouraged, to avoid spreading the virus. Uniting Agewell issued a statement on Saturday saying there had been “an influenza A outbreak at its Strathdevon aged care facility … from August 9 to 30, with the outbreak cleared on 30 August 2017”. It also confirmed the six deaths.

    Read the full article here

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