Study: Flu shots may not be as effective as advertised

Year after year millions of Americans do their due diligence and get a flu shot.

“Every year I get a shot. It’s just the thing to do,” said Jennifer Atzman.

But in a report released last month, scientists at the University of Minnesota said the vaccines provide only a “modest” protection for healthy adults and little, if any, protection for those 65 and older. The study’s authors said the shot doesn’t protect as promoted and it’s all just a sales job.

But Denver physician Dr. Kristin Woodward still recommends the shot.

“The flu shot is effective,” Woodward said. “In older individuals they don’t mount the same immune response say you or I would, but it decreases the symptoms.”

Some of the vaccine’s efficacy depends on the strains of flu it protects against.

“That’s the tricky thing about the flu virus, that it mutates each year, so the CDC does the best job that they can at predicting which strain we’re going to see,” Woodward said.

But Woodward said one of the most important things about the vaccine is that it decreases flu symptoms. And most people we spoke with don’t plan to stop getting the shot.

“The flu seems to be getting worse every year and it’s different strands, so I just want to get it done to protect ourselves,” said Tiana Pacheco.

The CDC still recommends everyone ages 6 months and up get the flu vaccine, especially those in high risk groups.