Several months ago, our company had a project wherein all the employees were given free flu shots. No one had to pay (the company shouldered the expense) and you just had to sign up to get the shots. Interestingly enough, only about 50 percent of the employees took advantage of the offer.
Several months down the road, I decided to take a quick look into the numbers. How many people got the flu between getting the shots and now? How many of those who got sick got flu shots? How many of those who didn’t get flu shots got sick? You know what I found out? Most of those who got the flu had the shots several months back! And many people who didn’t get the shots – including yours truly – have not contracted the flu.
Is this concrete evidence that flu shots don’t work? I would not go as far as to say that but the numbers are leaning towards that conclusion, at least in my company. One thing that I found out is that flu shots differ from year to year. That is because the formula is changed depending on the previous year’s strain of the influenza virus. Perhaps, the strain that hit a lot of people recently is different from the strain that was used in last year’s formula? That would explain the high number of people who got sick.
Needless to say, it is still prudent to get flu shots and to do so on a regular basis.