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The influenza vaccine has been shown in a major study involving many countries to prevent 59% of influenza infections, and 74% of serious ones.
This was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, involving 5220 children in 15 medical centers across the world. Notably it was a randomized-controlled trial, with half the children getting a sham injection, and the others the real thing.
The flu jab also decreased fever, doctor visits, school absence, and parent absence from work. There were also no difference in the serious side effects in both groups.
Vaccines work by tricking our immune system to form immunity to them. The vaccines contain the same coating as the real virus, but without sickness-causing ability. So they are like decoys. It has helped eradicate smallpox, and much decreased polio in large parts of the world. The flu virus, however, changes its coat every season, thus requiring yearly vaccination against the new strains.
New York City has now decreed mandatory flu vaccination for its preschool and day care centers. This should greatly reduce the sickness caused by the flu virus.
I am so excited to start a blog. I guess I am a bit late in doing this. In fact, I’ve got my facebook page first, then my own business website, and now finally a blog. I guess I’ve got the order wrong. I am an endocrinologist working in Singapore. An endocrinologist treats patients with diabetes mellitus, thyroid diseases and other hormone problems. I have my own private practice at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Parkway East Hospital.
I was born in Hong Kong, and took a scholarship to Singapore when I was 17 to study my A-levels. Then I managed to get into medical school. I met my Indonesian wife in church, and now has 3 lovely children. Yes they are all boys. We are a typical nuclear family, most of our time is spent doing things for our children: sending them to school, classes, teaching them etc. However, my wife and I also have a date at least once or twice a week, and the two of us go for “honeymoons” without our kids at least once a year.
I was too lazy to write a blog. But my good friends Moonlake and Ansgar Cheng strongly encouraged me, since they remarked that some of my observation regarding diabetes, obesity and general health can be very interesting. Well at least to them. I hope you would find my posts interesting too!