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Flu Vaccine Shows 48% Effectivity This Season

Update Date: Feb 17, 2017 09:30 AM EST
Los Angeles Begins Administering Flu Shots
Emily Moore administers an inoculation as free flu shots are given to people over 50 by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. An estimated 60 million flu shots will be given in the United States this season. (Photo : Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The risk of flu infections in the United States has been reduced by almost half this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has this year's flu shots to thank for, although additional incidences of the infection are still expected to continue for several more weeks.

CNN reveals that the effectiveness of the vaccine against this year's influenza A (H3N2) strain has been recorded to be 43 percent effective. The effectiveness of the vaccine for influenza B, on the other hand, was recorded at 73 percent. Overall, this year's flu shot showed 48 percent effectiveness.

Data used in the study was gathered from November 28, 2016, through February 4, 2017, including 3,144 children and adults that are currently enrolled in the United States Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network. This is where the CDC acquires its information to estimate the effectiveness of the flu vaccine as the cold season continues.

Last year's flu vaccine effectiveness was a merely 19 percent. This year, viruses in the vaccine are a good match to the currently circulating viruses, explaining the significant difference recorded from the past two years. The prediction that the H3N2 virus will be the dominant virus for this season helped in preparing a counter-solution for the spreading of the disease.

The increase in the incidences of the flu virus in the United States began mid-December 2016 and elevated through early February this year. Earlier this year, Medical News Today revealed that the flu vaccine was only 23% effective. In January, 15 child deaths were recorded due to the virus and the number of incidences crossed the threshold for an epidemic status.

The CDC is still urging individuals that are at high-risk for flu-related complication to seek immediate treatment as early as possible to be able to detect influenza symptoms as early as possible. Even with the significant increase in the effectiveness of the flu shot this February, seeking medical attention to be able to detect and address influenza cases is still the main advice of experts.

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