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How effective is this year's flu shot?

20 February 2018

3, 2018, 63 children had died and more than 124,300 people tested positive for the flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

This year's vaccines were only 25% effective against H3N2 viruses-the predominant strain that tends to cause more severe illness. That is huge given the fact that the CDC also says that the flu vaccine is just 36% effective overall in preventing flu illness.

More than 1,100 people across Australia died from the flu a year ago, with majority (90 per cent) over the age of 65.

Even with the tragic increase in pediatric deaths, the CDC said that there are signs that the season is finally peaking after several particularly nasty weeks. However, what's intriguing is that the vaccine is quite effective in protecting young children between the ages of six months to eight years against H3N2 - about 51 per cent - but nearly entirely ineffective for those 9-16.

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This winter's flu season is shaping up to be a nasty one, with flu-related hospitalization rates outpacing anything seen in recent years, according to the CDC. Of course, they need the collaboration of the moms, largely, to bring the kids in, and the children under the age of eight actually need two doses of vaccine if it's the first time that they're getting vaccinated. There have been a considerable amount of deaths in the both Children and adults this season, and the season is not over yet.

"The flu season affected aged care residents and staff and the homes' infection control and contingency plans were overwhelmed but it was unacceptable".

"This is a direct response to last year's horrific flu season, which had a devastating impact around the world, and aimed squarely at saving lives", Mr Hunt said in a statement.

Schaffner characterizes the current vaccine's efficacy numbers as "not bad", and reiterates that vaccination helps prevent severe flu even if it isn't ideal.

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If nothing else, you should get the flu shot to protect the most vulnerable in society - the elderly, young babies and pregnant women.

Instead, the vaccine may falter over a phenomenon called the 'original antigenic sin'. "Sometimes they matter and sometimes they don't, but what seems to make the most difference is immune history". In working to ensure vaccine quality, agency scientists have already confirmed that the genetic sequence of the influenza strains used by manufacturers to produce vaccines for this season were the same as those provided to them at the beginning of the production process. It is thought that non-egg-based vaccines are less likely to have mutations that lead to less protective effects.

That's a far cry from the commonly stated view that the flu shot doesn't work.

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How effective is this year's flu shot?