This Year’s Flu Shot Offers Little to No Protection

This Year’s Flu Shot Offers Little to No Protection

Over the past few months, you have probably heard the regular updates about the importance of getting the flu vaccine. Approximately 10% to 20% of the population becomes infected with the flu each year, resulting in a host of unpleasant symptoms, including fever, headache, fatigue, sore throat, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, people may develop serious complications, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), and may need hospital care.

According to a recent study on of the effectiveness of this year's flu vaccine, however, the research found the vaccine offers most people practically no protection against the strain that's causing the majority of illness this year—H3N2.

Creating a yearly flu vaccine that works is challenging. Influenza viruses are notorious masters of mutation, altering themselves just enough to avoid detection by our immune system. And efforts to make a universal flu vaccine simply have not panned out.


Other Flu-Beating Options 

Whether you get the flu shot or not, because of the dismal performance of this year’s flu vaccine, people should be taking other steps to protect their health, such as trying to avoid people who are ill and boosting their immune system.  

The immune system is your best bet to fend off the flu. That said, many people solely rely on vaccinations or prescriptions for a flu antiviral drug if they become ill. When it comes to winning the war on the annual flu, however, the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true if you want to avoid contracting this year’s flu.  


Panax Ginseng—Nature’s Flu-Fighter 

Looking for a natural immune boost without the side effects? Panax ginseng is one of the most commonly used herbal medicines that has been proven to succeed where many vaccines and other synthetic chemicals have failed. Research suggests that normal consumption of Panax ginseng could prevent infections by different flu virus strains. Ginseng compounds have been shown to enhance the immune system by stimulating natural killer cells, T-cells, and B-cells—fighting off the seasonal flu, safely and naturally. 

According to researchers who published their study in the journal of human nutrition, Nutrients, Panax ginseng helped lung cells survive viral infection attacks, reduced inflammation, and stimulated immune cell production, particularly when taken long-term preventatively. 

Making regular, lifestyle changes to support a healthy immune system are important. Herbal remedies like Bing Han’s Panax ginseng is one easy step in the right direction.


Dr. Melissa Carr is a registered Dr. of Traditional Chinese Medicine, caring for patients in an integrative medicine clinic in Vancouver.