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Flu Vaccine 48 Percent Effective This Season, CDC Says

Flu Vaccine 48 Percent Effective This Season, CDC Says

Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) receives a flu vaccine during the Influenza Outlook 2015-2016: Preparing for the Upcoming Season press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on Sept. 17, 2015. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
 

By    |   Friday, 17 February 2017 09:47 AM

The flu vaccine was 48 percent effective this season in reducing a vaccinated person's risk of getting sick and needing to see a physician, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement Thursday.

The flu A H3N2 virus had been elevated for eight weeks this season and continues to increase in some areas, the CDC said. While the flu appears to be decreasing in the Northwest and in the country overall, the Midwest and eastern coast continue to see increased flu activity.

The CDC said that the flu season has averaged 13 weeks in length over the past 15 years, with a range of up to 20 weeks.

"The viruses in the vaccine are a good match for the circulating viruses this season," Brendan Flannery, lead investigator for the U.S. Flu Vaccine Effectiveness Network, told CNN. "The prediction for the H3N2 virus was right on in terms of that particular virus continuing to be a dominant virus."

CNN reported that from Oct. 2 through Feb. 4, 38,244 specimens tested positive for flu virus in the country. A reported stated that out of 13,306 patients: 7.9 percent were younger than 4 years old, 30.4 percent were between 5 and 24 years old, 30.3 percent were between 25 and 64 years old, and 31.5 percent were 65 or older.

"Influenza activity may have peaked where there were early peaks in the Northwest and on the West Coast," Flannery told CNN. "… There can still be an increase in activity in some areas."

"We were a bit surprised by how much the influenza activity has increased recently and I think that strengthens the message for people to still get vaccinated," Flannery added.

NBC News reported that the flu kills up to 50,000 people – most of them elderly – and leaves a quarter-million hospitalized on any given year. The broadcaster added that the flu spreads every year because the viruses mutate constantly, causing many different strains.

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The flu vaccine was 48 percent effective this season in reducing a vaccinated person's risk of getting sick and needing to see a physician,the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
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2017-47-17
Friday, 17 February 2017 09:47 AM
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