The low-dose D study matched the 10-season average vaccine efficacy for 2004-2015 but given recent trends it looks to be substantially better than vaccine. And if people were getting a normal dose of D (see linked article at bottom) there really would be no market for flu vaccine at all.
On Feb. 26, 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated the effectiveness of the vaccine against the predominant influenza A H3N2 viruses for the 2014-2015 season at 18 percent1 2—a level reportedly described by CDC researchers as having “little to no efficacy.” Later in 2015, the CDC adjusted its estimate for the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine that season to 19 percent.3
The 19 percent effectiveness estimate for the influenza vaccine in 2014-2015 was unusually low, even by the consistently low effectiveness standard of the annual influenza vaccines. During the previous 10 seasons, the average effectiveness estimate for influenza vaccines had been 42.5 percent.4 5In only four of those 10 seasons had the effectiveness estimate surpassed 50 percent, and never more than 60 percent.4
In the first of those 10 seasons, 2004-2005, the effectiveness estimate was even lower than 19 percent. It was 10 percent. In other words, the influenza vaccine for that season was 90 percent ineffective.
Apart from the 19 percent estimate a few years ago, the effectiveness estimate for the influenza vaccine has not dropped anywhere close to 10 percent since 2004-2005… until this season, which was the preliminary estimate for the vaccine’s effectiveness in Australia during that country’s 2017 flu season. According to a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the effectiveness estimate for the vaccine against the influenza A H3N2 viruses during 2017-2018 might be 10 percent.”6 7 Paul E. Sax, MD of NEJM Journal Watch refers to it as a “dismal 10 percent.”8
Despite the predicted gross ineffectiveness of this season’s influenza vaccine, the CDC and many doctors continue to recommend getting it based on the rationale that it’s “better than nothing.”…
Rice Study Predicts 19 Percent Efficacy for 2018-2019 Influenza Vaccine
A computer-based tool developed as part of a study by researchers at Rice University in Texas is gauging the anticipated efficacy of this season’s influenza vaccine at 19 percent. The tool, known as pEpitope, is a computational model measuring critical differences in the genetic sequences of circulating strains of influenza virus….
Historically, the influenza vaccine recommended by public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the 2016-2017 “flu season” only had an efficacy of 20 percent, and the pEpitope assessment predicted 19 percent efficacy for this vaccine.2 Full influenza vaccine efficacy data for the 2017-2018 flu season are still being compiled.
The majority of 2018-2019 influenza vaccines in the U.S. remain egg-based with two critical mutations in amino acids in one key region of the hemagglutinin protein, but the vaccine has an updated formulation to protect against H3N2.
“Our study found that these same mutations halved the efficacy of influenza vaccines in the past two seasons, and we expect they will lower the efficacy of the next vaccine in a similar manner,” Deem stated. He added that these adaptations are inevitable as long as most influenza vaccines are cultivated in eggs.
The Rice researchers believe the egg adaptations are the reason for the reduced efficacy. There are two new types of influenza vaccines available in the U.S. that do not use eggs for production, one uses MDCK dog kidney cells and the other uses army worm cells.3 When testing the efficacy of an experimental vaccine produced from insect cells, the Rice researchers predicted a higher 47 percent efficacy rate.1
However, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published Oct. 6, 2018, “Both cell-culture and egg-based inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) vaccines showed relatively low vaccine effectiveness (VE) during the 2017-2018 influenza season in which the A(H3N2) virus strain dominated.”4…
Background: To our knowledge, no rigorously designed clinical trials have evaluated the relation between vitamin D and physician-diagnosed seasonal influenza.Objective: We investigated the effect of vitamin D supplements on the incidence of seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren.Design: From December 2008 through March 2009, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comparing vitamin D3 supplements (1200 IU/d) with placebo in schoolchildren. The primary outcome was the incidence of influenza A, diagnosed with influenza antigen testing with a nasopharyngeal swab specimen.Results: Influenza A occurred in 18 of 167 (10.8%) children in the vitamin D3 group compared with 31 of 167 (18.6%) children in the placebo group [relative risk (RR), 0.58; 95% CI: 0.34, 0.99; P = 0.04]. The reduction in influenza A was more prominent in children who had not been taking other vitamin D supplements (RR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.17, 0.79; P = 0.006) and who started nursery school after age 3 y (RR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.17, 0.78; P = 0.005). In children with a previous diagnosis of asthma, asthma attacks as a secondary outcome occurred in 2 children receiving vitamin D3 compared with 12 children receiving placebo (RR: 0.17; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.73; P = 0.006).Conclusion: This study suggests that vitamin D3 supplementation during the winter may reduce the incidence of influenza A, especially in specific subgroups of schoolchildren….