The flu vaccine this year is only 23 percent and not any higher than which CDC made us to believe few weeks ago. It may even be lower. Flu vaccines are expected to be effective at 50 percent to 60 percent levels. U.S. health officials explained that this year’s vaccine’s effectiveness is way below than what is expected.
“This is an uncommon year,” said Dr. Alicia Fry, a flu vaccine expert at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who was involved in the study.
The information may not come as a surprise since CDC officials have declared last December yet that the flu vaccines won’t possibly work since it’s not the exact match to the present dominant flu virus.
The main reason according to CDC officials was the dominant virus mutated so fast it was impossible to produce another batch for this season.
The usual production method experts say, is to reformulate the vaccine each year by guessing the virus strains, three or four are usually included, which may possibly infect the population.
The decision regarding when to make these vaccines is usually done in the month of February to give ample time for drug companies to manufacture them.
However, the major flu virus strain H3N2, was left out in this year’s reformulation of the flu vaccine, and that’s where the problem lies. This particular virus strain has been especially fatal to children and old people. The bad winter season is making things even worse.
The flu season two years ago was bad but it’s not as bad compared to this year’s outbreak. The number of hospital admittances and deaths to older people and children is much higher this current season.
A study was made and the outcome wasn’t very conclusive in showing the effect of vaccine in each age group although vaccines don’t really work well with old people.
The research included 2,321 participants conducted in 5 different states including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington. The participants were suffering from respiratory illness since November last year to January this year. The results revealed that individuals who received vaccinations had a 23 percent lower chance of seeing a doctor because of flu.