A Timely Topic: Flu vaccine is not linked to Alzheimer’s
‘Tis the season for flu vaccine! Every year we get at least a few calls from people asking if there is a link between the flu vaccine and Alzheimer’s disease. This is an idea that came about more than a decade ago and has actually been debunked many times over.
In fact, several mainstream studies link flu shots and other vaccinations to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and overall better health! For example:
- A Nov. 27, 2001, Canadian Medical Journal report suggests older adults who were vaccinated against diphtheria or tetanus, polio, and influenza seemed to have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those not receiving these vaccinations.
- A report in the Nov. 3, 2004, JAMA found that annual flu shots for older adults were associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes. The abstract of that report is posted on PubMed.
The bottom line is that you should speak to your doctor about whether or not you should get a flu vaccine this year and don’t let fears of Alzheimer’s risk stop you!
Helpful information related to this story
Read the full text of the Canadian Medical Journal report: Past exposure to vaccines and subsequent risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Read the abstract of the JAMA report: Annual revaccination against influenza and mortality risk in community-dwelling elderly persons
Alzheimer’s disease risk factors: Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease
Flu vaccine FAQs from the CDC: Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine