Have you seen Jack’s magic beans? In one way or another, everybody is looking for Jack’s magic beans. Everyone knows the story. Jack, at a whim, traded his milk cow for the “magic beans”. Despite his mother’s rebuke, Jack’s trade eventually proved to bear fruit, that is the fruit of the goose that laid the golden eggs. The relevance of Jack’s magic bean to health is significant. Everyone is looking for the magic beans of health. The magic beans of prescription medications. The magic beans of surgery. Everybody is looking for the golden goose of health through the healthcare magic beans. But, do they exist?
The first crisp mornings of the year, the return of the pigskin, and the sweeping color changes found throughout the landscape—I love fall. Fall is a welcome change after the long heat of Summer. Fall brings many things, some good and some bad. Just as fall moves us past the summer heat, fall also ushers in the cold weather and the dreaded cold and flu season.
The statements about the flu season are as prevalent as the virus itself: the flu vaccine is “as good as gold, the “proof is in the pudding”, and “protect with the flu vaccine”. I recently saw an ad campaign for the flu vaccine state: “the value of wellness”, implying that the flu vaccine equaled wellness. I even heard a medical report, by a physician no less, on the radio say “its better than nothing”.
So, I got to thinking—with the cold and flu season upon us, does the scientific data support the flu vaccine. Not, what does the collective think. Not, what does marketing based-medicine say, but what does the evidence show. What is the best way to protect my and your family during this cold and flu season? How can one treat and even prevent the flu this upcoming season. Is it as good as gold? Is it better than nothing? Is the flu vaccine the value of wellness? Is the flu vaccine the proof that is in the pudding? No opinions, just evidence.