Recent news about flu shot effectiveness causing confusion


This after the vaccine wouldn't work on several strains of flu in South America.

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. Those especially at risk are adults 65 years of age and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, people with certain chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or other long-term medical conditions.

"However imperfect, though, current influenza vaccines remain a valuable public health tool, and it is always better to get vaccinated than not to get vaccinated", the team noted. But a new study is raising doubts about this year's flu shot.

Most studies in the determine the effectiveness of a particular flu vaccine are done through observational studies, in which researchers compare the occurrence of flu illness in vaccinated people compared to unvaccinated people. The conclusion comes from a study in Australia, which uses the same vaccine as the United States.

In the United States, widespread cases are being reported in Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma and MA.

"The fact that it's 10%, yes, that's quite a bit lower than usual, but it's usually only 40 to 60% effective".

Clean - Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water.

Health officials are recommending that people get the vaccine even though it's not known how effective it will be.

The Centers for Disease Control says confirmed cases are at just over 7,000.