Flu Vaccine Doesn’t Protect Against This Season’s Most Dominant Strain

NEW YORK (AP) — The flu vaccine may not be very effective this winter, according to U.S. health officials who worry this may lead to more serious illnesses and deaths.

As flu season begins to ramp up, officials say the vaccine does not protect well against the dominant strain seen most commonly so far this year. That strain tends to cause more deaths and hospitalizations, especially in the elderly. CDC officials say the vaccine should still provide some protection, but it won’t be as good as if the vaccine strain was a match.

Flu vaccine effectiveness tends to vary from year to year. Last winter, flu vaccine was about 60 percent effective overall, which experts consider good.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory to doctors about the situation Wednesday evening.

CDC officials said doctors should be on the look-out for patients who may be at higher risk for flu complications, including children younger than 2, adults 65 and older, and people with asthma, heart disease, weakened immune systems or certain other chronic conditions.

Such patients should be seen promptly, and perhaps treated immediately with antiviral medications, the CDC advised.

Among infectious diseases, flu is considered one of the nation’s leading killers. On —> Read More Here


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