Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Flu vaccine may be only 10 percent effective this year, experts say

Flu vaccine may be only 10 percent effective this year, experts say

This year's flu season is off to a fast start and early indications suggest that it may be more severe than the previous season, NBC News reported.

Anyone can get the flu, regardless of age, race, gender, or ethnicity, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

"I think it's fairly typical of what we see in Louisville and Kentucky", said Preethi Ananthakrishnan, MD, Norton's Infectious Disease Specialist. "That's how it so easily gets spread".

The flu season usually peaks in late January or February, sometimes as late as March, but this year, some predictions warn that cases of flu could soar right around the winter holiday season.

Read the full story on WKYC's website here. While the effectiveness of the flu vaccine can vary from year to year, it's the best way to prevent the virus as well as serious complications that can happen if you do become ill, including those that can result in hospitalization. However, this year's flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective.

December is when the flu typically comes out in full force, keeping people home from work or school. Vaccine can still protect against the other 3 strains.

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The obvious consumer question at this point: Though we don't know for sure that it's the eggs that are the problem with H3N2, can we get vaccines that are not made in eggs?

Getting vaccinated later; however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later. Since then, there have been two influenza deaths in New Mexico.

You can ask your doctor, or the local pharmacy about getting the vaccine. The very young, very old, and people with existing medical conditions are most at risk.

The paper also noted that the flu vaccine "mismatch" seen in Australia this year could be related to the way most flu vaccines are now made: using chicken eggs to "grow" the flu virus strains.

And for those anxious about allergies from eggs used in the production process, two more vaccines are egg-free.

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