The news media and our federal government are trumpeting the early release of data from H1N1 swine flu vaccine trials. The headlines would have you believe that the new vaccine is a major success. In some ways it is and in other ways it isn’t.

Early data from swine flu vaccine trials show that in healthy people ages 18-64 a single dose of the vaccine boosted antigen awareness by 80% - 96%, depending on the version of the vaccine tested. This is good news for healthy people who wish to get a swine flu vaccine.

On the other hand, in the age group of elderly Americans (65 and over) the vaccine was only 56% - 60% effective in terms of raising the antibody titer assay (which reflects awareness of the exposure). This is not good news, as many adults struggling with inflammation of one type or another already have an “elderly-like” immune response due to health issues that interfere with optimal immune function. This leaves millions of Americans at risk for a more severe case of the H1N1 swine flu.

Results of the flu vaccine experiments on children and pregnant women were not included in this first data. Theoretically they would be more likely to fall into the elderly response pattern, but the hard data is not yet available.

It is very important to understand several points. First of all, just because antibody titers are elevated in response to the vaccine it does not mean that the individual will be able to efficiently fight the infection. That is based on the ability of your innate and adaptive immune system being able to go to war and sustain a war. It is the common reason for “vaccine failure” in the elderly, as I explain in detail in my article, “The Narrow Scope of Flu Vaccine Usefulness.”

In this context a “successful” flu vaccine is like firing a warning shot across the bow. Was anyone on the ship paying attention? It is great that a healthy person’s immune system may be able to pay attention to the warning, even letting their immune system get a first look at the new virus and make preparations accordingly. It is far different from an actual battle.

Secondly, the ability of your immune system to engage in battle and sustain battle with any flu is based on the underlying trend of your existing health, the acute challenges to your existing health, and your nutritional adequacy. There is no short cut in being prepared for battle, as I fully explain in my article, “Using Nutrition to Help Perceive and Combat Swine Flu.”

The claimed vaccine “victory” is like saying you have won the race because you managed to show up at the starting line better prepared. Our government and public health officials do not seem the least bit concerned about telling the public how to run the race to win, as doing so would necessitate an endorsement of dietary supplements for the public health. That concept turns the stomachs of the vested interests involved with the majority of medical care in this country. Maybe they should realize that saving lives of infants, children, the elderly, pregnant women, and many adults in strained health is actually more important than how their stomachs feel.

Author's Bio: 

Byron J. Richards, Founder/Director of Wellness Resources, Inc., is a Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a world renowned natural health expert. Richards is the first to explain the relevance of leptin and its link to solving obesity.