Flu vaccine is 48% effective this season: CDC

Flu vaccine is 48% effective this season: CDC

Flu vaccine has reduced the risk of infections in the United States by nearly half this season but the infection is expected to continue for the next many weeks, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) said in its latest report.

The federal agency said that the predominant virus strain this flu season is influenza A (H3N2), and the estimated effectiveness of the available vaccine in preventing influenza A and influenza B has been 43 and 73 per cent, respectively; with overall protection rate of 48 per cent.

The interim findings are based on analysis of data collected from Nov. 28 through Feb. 4 for 3,144 kids and adults who were enrolled in the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network.

Brendan Flannery, lead investigator for the network, said the viruses in the flu vaccine proved to be a “good match” for the influenza viruses circulating this season.

Speaking on the topic, Flannery added, “The prediction for the H3N2 virus was right on in terms of that particular virus continuing to be a dominant virus. This vaccine is a much better match for the circulating virus than the vaccine we had two years ago.”

During the 2015-16 and 2014-15 flu seasons, vaccine effectiveness was recorded at 47 per cent and just 19 per cent, respectively.

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