Fear-mongering about the flu for 2021 has again begun. As with last year’s prediction, it is highly unlikely we will again have a flu season this year based on southern hemisphere reports referenced in the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) August 25th, 2021 report. The report essentially states there are almost zero cases reported by Australia in the Fall and winter of 2021 which is highly predictive of what we should expect. Covid-19 also seems to be on a downtrend in the USA at this time as well as found on Microsoft Bing.
In tandem with this is the current CDC influenza report that says flu activity is very low.
There have been many claims that flu season is sometimes milder and then in other years reaching dangerous proportions. With fewer people traveling from Asia, how is the flu arriving here, or anywhere for that matter?
- Communication of the Flu requires travel and movement within the population. During this pandemic, very little movement has occurred which will reduce Flu Transmission. While it is true that there has been more travel than last year, it is also true that fewer people are still traveling to areas such as China where many flu strains are believed to start.
- Most of us are still wearing masks, which markedly reduces transmission of Covid19 and many other contagions.
- Social Distancing is being practiced by most of us which also further reduces the risk of Flu and Covid19 transmission, although less than before.
- It is also important to note that Australia has closed down its borders and will likely not reopen them until 2022, which further insulates them from the flu as reported by onemileatatime.com. We in the USA are not but the lack of travel still will affect the flu in 2021, as we are seeing in the latest CDC reports.
Our prediction; Little or no Flu in the USA this year for the second year in a row.
There is no proof that there will even be a Flu season this year. In the Southern Hemisphere which will be entering Spring now, there has been hardly any Flu.
What this means is that if people do not travel, social distance, or wear masks, they are markedly reducing the likelihood of catching the latest Flu virus from last year in China.
Regardless of these facts, the government spends billions on their Flu program and if they do not disseminate it, it all goes to waste. Many doctors do tell their patients that immunization may prevent them from being infected by other strains. I have also read in well-read medical information sites that the experts suggest that if you do not get the flu vaccine, you are likely to get the other strains that may not be circulating now can be found on sites like the one from FDA, This is at best a guess or at worse hyperbole and comes across as a blanket recommendation sales pitch.
Why the big push to get vaccinated in a year with such low transmission rates.
Vaccinating the public is big business. Most of us never consider this as fear is used to drive us to our local CVS, Walgreens, or doctors’ offices to get our shot. In an average year, according to the CDC, the Flu affects 3-11% of the population so the risk averages out to 8%, or in other words, you are 92% not likely to get the Flu on an average year. This is not an average year.
Flu season hype is seen in the news, on Facebook, and on other media with pictures of full doctors’ offices and busy emergency rooms. This is a large part of what drives the fall and early winter medical business. CVS, Costco, and other stores offer it because even though the profit margin is low, people will also buy other things they sell at a higher profit margin.
In doctor’s offices, people will come in for their Flu shot and an exam and may have another health problem that drives their bottom line during these seasons. These other services drive their profit margins higher. Perhaps this is why large medical groups all heavily promote flu season vaccinations in lockstep with each other. Prevention of the what-if disease that is just not circulating and probably never will?
What would happen if you had little reason to visit the doctor or Walgreens?
A combination of a multi-billion yearly commitment and the business models of many stores and healthcare providers profit from Flu season. While the flu shot is advertised as something that is preventative for you, during this Flu season, what are you preventing that your mask, social distancing, and a lack of travel have already prevented?
Perhaps, this is why state governments like New Jersey are having bills pushed to mandate the flu vaccine. Are this drug company and medical professional hubris, and is this really about our health, or about the health of the profits the bill’s sponsors will lose if we reexamine this policy as we head into a possible second year of a pandemic?
There is some risk regarding the Flu shot and you will have a minor reaction of either soreness at the site of injection or your body may experience minor symptoms. If you avoid it altogether, is your risk actually lower this year? This is something to think about during 2020.