Young Kids Are Getting The Best Protection From Current Flu Vaccine

Brian Snyder  Reuters

Unfortunately, flu vaccines don't work as well against H3N2 viruses, which means some people who get vaccinated may still get sick; however, flu vaccination helps make illness milder for those who do get sick.

Federal health officials say that, as they anticipated, the flu vaccine isn't very effective this year - but they say it has still prevented thousands of serious illnesses and deaths.

The flu vaccine is working better than doctors feared, but still is not especially effective, health officials said Thursday.

She said the doses of vaccine she still had on hand don't expire until May 31.

Monto noted that the 25% effectiveness against H3N2 is higher than the 10% reported earlier from Australia. Everybody else got no statistically significant benefit. This year's mix shows better protection against other now circulating strains of influenza, such as H1N1, than it does against H3N2. That ties the highest level seen in the USA during swine flu in 2009.

"In view of the issues surrounding colds and flu that seem to be hitting our section, we are repeating the efforts to thoroughly clean and sanitize our schools", Scully said in a statement.

The CDC said the best way to prevent the flu is by getting annual vaccinations, which cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination.

And that has many people asking, "Why is it so deadly?"

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The agency did not offer additional details on the child. People must get a new vaccine every year to be protected.

The flu season has been harsh towards baby boomers.

In the 2016-17 flu season, 219 people died in North Carolina from flu-related causes, including at least nine in Pitt County. Among the 54 whose vaccination status was known, 74 percent had not been vaccinated.

There have been 43 deaths so far this flu season in ME, no pediatric deaths, and 842 hospitalizations.

The CDC warns individuals that flu symptoms come on suddenly.

For Thursday's report, they looked at the cases of 4,562 kids and adults who showed up with flu-like illness at the five sites. "Hospitals continue to report large numbers of sick patients and providers are reporting high numbers of patient visits due to flu and flu-like symptoms".

Historically, flu season peaks in February, but the exact timing and durations of flu seasons can vary across the country.

Although the majority of cases of influenza-like illness are not reported, so far there have been more than 8,100 laboratory-confirmed cases in the state this flu season. "This being a particularly bad flu year, people can still get prevention with a vaccine", Solomon said. The highest total was in 2014-15, when 221 deaths were reported. It's unlikely that there will be a lot of it around next flu season.

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