Did the Flu Vaccine Kill Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson?

Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson, one of the nation’s leading health-care executives, died unexpectedly in his sleep Sunday. He was 60.

Kaiser Permanente did not disclose the cause of Tyson’s sudden death. On Saturday, the executive had appeared at an Afro Tech event in Oakland, tweeting pictures of the gathering.

Some on social media were sharing a picture of Tyson getting the flu shot, but this was a year before his death:

It’s likely that Tyson got the shot again this year, but probably “by the end of October” as he recommended, though the lack of a tweet about it this year may indicate that he didn’t get his on time.

The flu vaccine does prevent the flu and its secondary infections 10-to-40 percent of the time, though it’s not clear what the effectiveness of the 2019-20 vaccine is.

We know from last year’s case of Jose Peralta, the flu vaccine is not a panacea and may actually cause complications that lead to serious disease and even death if ignored.

Also if you want to avoid the needle, the FluMist nasal spray vaccine is available now after a two-year hiatus. It is a live attenuated vaccine that may increase the risk of the recipient of contracting the flu. It’s for healthy people ages 2 to 49 who aren’t pregnant, who are not allergic to the flu vaccine or any of its ingredients, and who don’t have weak immune systems.