Flu Vaccines Prove 50 Percent Effective
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2016-2017 flu vaccine is proving to protect about half of people immunized from getting the flu. Officials report this season’s vaccine formula is not as effective as last year's, but more effective than others in the past.
So far this flu season, the vaccine has reduced medical visits from the flu by about 48 percent overall. Available vaccines are formulated differently each year—based on the strains of flu that are expected to circulate. This year H3N2 viruses are the most common. The flu vaccine appears to provide about 43 percent protection against this type, while providing 73 percent protection against influenza B viruses.
Flu activity, which so far is categorized as moderate, is expected to continue for several more weeks. As long as viruses are circulating, vaccination for anyone who has not yet been immunized is recommended. Each year, influenza is responsible for about 50,000 deaths in the U.S.—most in older adults. So far this year, 20 children have died from complications of the flu.
Image Credit: Thinkstock