The influenza vaccine was discovered in 1944 by Dr. Jonas Salk (the same Dr. Salk who invented the Polio vaccine) and another doctor, about a decade after the virus was discovered and isolated. Each year, the CDC determines which flu strains are likely to be the most severe and/or widespread and a vaccine is created specifically to combat those strains. The vaccine is about 80 percent effective, and often has minor and temporary side effects such as fever or allergic reaction.
Do our vaccines these days have more harsh side effects because they have to be stronger now?
It is possible. Vaccines are essentially dead or weakened strains that trigger a reaction in the body that immediately starts making antibodies. The reason we get fever symptoms after flu shots is because our bodies are in attack mode. Many people are skeptical about flu shots and choose not to get them because they worry that flu shots will eventually result in a deadly super-virus. This type of theory is also applied to the use of anti-bacterial hand gels, which are so widely used (especially by children) that people worry about the evolution of a super-germ.
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