Doctor warns flu illnesses up due to false flu vaccine information

Byby Melanie Woodrow KGO logo
Saturday, December 30, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- This year's flu season is in full swing, so much so, Jeffrey Silvers, M.D., says hospitals are having a hard time finding enough beds.

Silvers says he checked to see how many patients in eight Northern California hospitals had been vaccinated. "Seventy-five percent of patients admitted to the hospital never received a flu vaccine. They were three times more likely to be admitted to the hospital if they were not vaccinated than if they were," he said.

COLD VS FLU: How to tell the difference

Silvers said he believes the drop in the number of people getting vaccinated is due to what he calls false information out of Australia regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine at just 10 percent. "Normally they only vaccinate one out of 10 kids, one out of three pregnant women and maybe 3/4 of the people over 65, which is far less than we do, so when they had this big outbreak they really weren't prepared," he said.

Silvers said once you get vaccinated it takes two weeks for the vaccine to take effect. He also warns, when sick with the flu, your judgment may be off.

RELATED: Bay Area residents brace for challenging flu season

He said two of the patients he's seen in the hospital weren't hospitalized because of the flu, but rather due to car accidents that resulted from their judgment being off while they were sick with the flu.

Silvers may not agree that this year's flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective, but he does admit it's not perfect. Still he says the worst cases of the flu are in those who do not get vaccinated.

Click here for more stories about the flu.