CDC Touts Effectiveness Of This Year’s Flu Vaccine


CLICK ON THE RED “WATCH NOW” BUTTON. GOOD LUCK SIFTING THROUGH THOSE CARDS. GOT ALL THE LEFTOVERS NOW. IN HEALTHWATCH, DID YOU AVOID A FLU SHOT THIS YEAR BECAUSE YOU HEARD IT WASN’T VERY EFFECTIVE? OFFICIAL NUMBERS FROM THE CDC ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE VACCINE THIS YEAR. DR. MAX GOMEZ WITH THE NUMBERS. Reporter: KNOW VACCINE IS 100% EFFECTIVE. THERE ARE TOO MANY VARIABLES. THE STRENGTH OF THE PERSON’S IMMUNE SYSTEM, WHETHER THE VACCINE MATCHES THE STRAIN OF THE VIRUS, AND SO ON. LAST FLU SEASON, THE SEASON CDC ESTIMATED THE VACCINE WAS ABOUT 40% EFFECTIVE. THIS YEAR SEEMS BETTER. THIS SEASON’S FLU VACCINE SEEMS TO BE WORKING, ACCORDING TO THE CDC ESTIMATES THAT FIND THE VACCINE HAS REDUCED THE RISK OF GOING TO THE DOCTOR FOR FLU RELATED ILLNESSES BY 47% OVERALL THIS SEASON. THE EFFECTIVENESS IS EVEN HIGHER AMONG CHILDREN BETWEEN SIX MONTHS AND 17 YEARS. REDUCING DOCTORS VISITS BY 61%. AMBRES CAN CHANGE BETWEEN NOW AND THE END OF THE SEASON. THE IMPORTANT THING IS THE VACCINE IS PROVIDING SOME PROTECTION AGAINST THE VIRUSES THAT ARE CIRCULATING. Reporter: H1 AND ONE IS THE PREDOMINANT STRAIN OF THE VIRUS, SO FAR THIS SEASON, NATIONWIDE ACCORDING TO THE CDC. EVEN THOUGH FLU ACTIVITY IS LOWER THAN IT WAS AT THIS POINT LAST YEAR, IT IS STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR SOME ARE BETWEEN 155 AND 186,000 HOSPITALIZATIONS AND AROUND 10,000 TO 16,000 DEATHS. THAT PUTS ON TRACK TO BE A SEASON WITH A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF DEATHS. IT’S LIKELY TO RISE. WE ALSO SEE 28 PEDIATRIC DEATHS SO FAR THIS SEASON. Reporter: HEALTH OFFICIALS AND AFTER A SLOW START, FLU ACTIVITY HAS BEEN PICKING UP THE PAST FEW WEEKS, AND IS NOW AT THE HIGHEST IT’S BEEN ALL SEASON. THEY STRESS, IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED A FLU SHOT YET, THERE IS STILL TIME TO DO SO. LAST SEASON, WHEN THE PREDOMINANT STRAIN WAS H3N2, THE CDC ESTIMATED 83,000 AMERICANS DIED OF FLU COMPLICATIONS. THAT WAS THE DEADLIEST TOLL IN 30 YEARS. SADLY, MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE WERE UNVACCINATED.

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