Distressed little girl getting an injection or vaccineEvery year we are told to get a flu shot; but how much protection does the flu vaccine provide? Research that appeared in JAMA. 2013;309(24):2557-2558. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6589, found the vaccine to only be effective in 59% of healthy adults. In the past, Centers for Disease Control officials estimated the vaccines were effective 70 to 90 percent of the time on their website. Dr Michael Osterholm and colleagues from the University of Minnesota reached this conclusion by sifting through 31 comprehensive studies on the efficacy of the flu vaccine. Part of the problem, the report found, is that the medical community lacks evidence of how effective the flu shot is for some of the most vulnerable members of society. Even though children and the elderly are considered to be at the greatest risk for the flu, “We didn’t find any trials that actually provided us with what we thought was state-of-the art information in children aged two to 17 or adults over age 65,” said Osterholm.