The Flu Vaccine Works—In a Way Most People Don’t Appreciate

October 9, 2023

It’s like clockwork: first comes a brisk fall breeze, then comes the public health push to get a flu shot. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s messaging this year might look a little different from previous vaccination seasons. The agency has launched a messaging campaign dubbed “Wild to Mild” that uses adorable critters to illustrate how a vaccine can tame a bout with the flu by reducing its strength from that of an elephant or a lion to that of a mouse or a kitten.

The framing might come as a surprise to those used to a blunter way of talking about vaccines: get vaccinated or get sick. But Wild to Mild is designed to be a more honest, nuanced portrayal of the benefits of the influenza vaccine, which scientists have long recognized is better at reducing serious infections than at preventing infection altogether.

Read more at Scientific American.

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