Your Flu Vaccine May Be Less Effective This Winter
As cold weather hits, flu season has begun to heat up, and officials say the usual vaccine does not protect as well against the dominant strain seen most commonly so far this year. This is especially troubling because this is the strain that tends to cause more deaths and hospitalizations, especially in the elderly.
"Though we cannot predict what will happen the rest of this flu season, it’s possible we may have a season that’s more severe than most," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at a news conference Thursday.
CDC officials explain that the the vaccine will still provide some protection and are strongly urging people to get vaccinated. The vaccine won't be as affective if the vaccine strain was a match, but it will still make a difference in your risk level.
Flu vaccine effectiveness tends to vary from year to year with last winter's vaccine being around 50 to 55 percent effective overall, which experts consider relatively good.
This is not a reason to not get a vaccine. Do yourself and the people around you a favor and get vaccinated this winter!