Health Officials: This Season’s Flu Vaccine Only 23% Effective

We were warned, and thus it has come to pass: After the Centers for Disease Control announced at the end of last year that this season’s flu vaccine might not do much to prevent people from getting sick, the agency released results today that show shots have only been about 23% effective.

Officials with the CDC say the results of its new study were among the worst it’s had since the government started tracking how well vaccines work a decade ago, reports the Associated Press.

“Commonly, it’s been closer to 60 percent,” Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist at the CDC’s influenza division said, according to the Washington Post.

This season’s vaccine, however, doesn’t protect against the virus that’s making most people sick, prompting officials to warn consumers earlier in the season.

But it’s still a good idea to get vaccinated instead of not, as the vaccine protects against many strains of flu that could still make you sick: The CDC points out that even a vaccine that’s only 10% effective could prevent an estimated 13,000 hospitalizations in older people over the course of a flu season.

CDC: Flu vaccine only 23 percent effective; didn’t include virus making most people sick [Associated Press]
CDC: Flu vaccine only 23 percent effective this season, but still better than nothing [Washington Post]

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