Feds: Flu Vaccine Should Work Better This Year

Last year's vaccine was less than half as effective as usual
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2015 6:20 PM CDT
Feds: Flu Vaccine Should Work Better This Year
A nurse administers a flu shot during a press event on the flu vaccine today. Officials say this year's vaccine should be better than last year's largely ineffective version.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

As you may have experienced firsthand, last year's flu vaccine didn't work very well. The most prevalent flu strain mutated after the vaccine had already been made, catching the CDC off guard and resulting in a vaccine that was less than half as effective as normal and the highest rates of flu hospitalizations for the elderly ever recorded, NPR reports. Things should be different this year. The CDC announced today that the 2015 flu vaccine is a good fit for the viruses currently circulating around the country, including the H3N2 strain that sickened so many people last year, according to the Los Angeles Times. The CDC hopes this news will convince more people to get flu shots this year, NPR reports.

While officials have reason to be optimistic about this year's vaccine, the CDC says there's no way to know for sure which strains will infect the most people or how effective the vaccine will be when flu season gets underway as early as next month, the Times reports. Still, officials say anyone over 6 months old should get the shot regardless. "Get vaccinated," CDC Director Thomas Frieden said during a news conference, per NPR. "That's the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community." Plus, the Times points out there's a new type of shot this year that's injected into the skin instead of muscle and uses "a much smaller needle." So that's something. (More influenza stories.)

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