Of all of the vaccinations administered every year, the flu vaccine is the only one that has to be given annually — this is because there are so many different sub-strains within strains A, B, and C that coming up with one that targets what will most likely be the most virulent is a painstaking, continual process.
The ultimate goal is to develop a universal vaccine, one that is either given only once in a lifetime, or once with a series of boosters, like the DPT and MMR vaccines.
But, personally, I’m not complaining, especially since past methods to rid the population of influenza have been creepy to downright terrifying.
During the throes of the 1918 flu pandemic, physicians tried various unorthodox methods of treating the illness — health officials didn’t realize it was a viral borne illness until the 1930s. So they tried “blood letting” — which means they literally tried to force the illness to bleed out of the patient’s system. Didn’t work.
Some resorted to hydrogen peroxide IVs, which did nothing to assuage the ferocity of the illness and caused fatalities.
One doctor came up with a “cocktail” injection containing