Amid Questions, Experts Still Recommend Flu Vaccinations

December 22, 2017

The Blade reports that this year’s flu vaccine could be only 10 percent effective against the H3N2 strain of the virus.

“Flu season is stirring up more than unpleasant symptoms as it begins its move across the United States. It’s also raising questions about the effectiveness of this year’s vaccine.

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Experts warn that this year’s vaccine could be only 10 percent effective against a strain of the virus H3N2 that is expected to predominantly circulate in the United States. That warning, as published late last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, is based on a preliminary analysis of the flu season in Australia.

Flu vaccines distributed there have the same composition as those being distributed in the United States. Researchers often look to the southern hemisphere for hints of what’s in store locally.

But that 10 percent figure isn’t to say that vaccine holdouts should forgo the flu shot this season.

‘If it lessens the severity by 10 percent, that makes a big difference,’ said Dr. Matt Roth, medical director for ProMedica Wellness.

The physician explained that there are two factors that account for year-to-year fluctuations in the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, which typically reduces the risk of illness by 40 percent to 60 percent in the overall population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Read more on this from The Blade

 


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