Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Statins May Weaken the Effect of the Flu Vaccine

If you’re taking statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, you should know that this may weaken your body’s response to the flu vaccine. In those over 65 who received a flu shot, researchers found antibody concentrations were between 38% and 67% lower than those in people not taking statins. Among younger individuals a weakened response was also seen. Those who received a flu shot and were taking statins were 11% more likely to develop a respiratory illness that required medical attention compared to those not taking the drugs. It’s thought that statins’ anti-inflammatory properties may be responsible for lowering the immune system’s response to the vaccine.

NASA Studying Vaccination and Immune Response During Extended Spaceflight

NASA is conducting research to determine how the human immune system changes during extended crewed spaceflight missions and how to “counterbalance” these changes through vaccination. The study is led by investigator Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, as part of NASA’s Twins Study. It involves astronauts and identical twin brothers Scott and Mark Kelly—the former of which is currently aboard the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) on a one-year mission, which began on…

More People Opting Out of Flu Vaccine in the United Kingdom

Last year, the flu vaccine in the United Kingdom was even more of a failure than in the U.S. In the U.K., during the 2014-15 flu season the flu vaccine was only 3% effective. The Conversation described this as “one bad year,” but even during a good year the effectiveness is usually around 50%, which means whether or not it will protect you amounts to the flip of a coin. So it’s no wonder that this year the U.K. is seeing low uptake of the vaccine—influenza vaccination rates are down 6% compared to last year. Vaccination rates are even low among groups considered to be most vulnerable to the flu, such as the elderly, children under 5 and…

New Law Aims to Expose Big Pharma Influence on Physicians

It is no secret that the medical field is heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. For many decades, health care professionals and pharmaceutical companies have enjoyed cozy financial relationships. Pharmaceuticals continuously interact with medical doctors (MDs) and Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs), the two types of physicians who are licensed for prescribe…

A Wider Angle on Vaccines and Immunity

breastfeeding graphic

My husband and I indulged in a little prenatal uber-parenting when I was pregnant with our first child, and we interviewed several pediatricians known for being more sensible or holistic to see if we could find a good fit. One of the many questions we asked each doctor was about how they approached vaccination. The last physician responded by saying, “Well, there are…

Flu Shots Urged for Pregnant Women Despite Unknown Effects

The flu vaccine is widely recommended for pregnant women, despite a lack of adequate safety testing. It was around this time in 2014 that a study came out in the New England Journal of Medicine stating the flu vaccine provided partial protection against confirmed influenza in pregnant women and their infants. The media began touting headlines like “flu vaccine safe…

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