How effective is the flu jab? – BBC News


flu can make you feel rubbish but for
some people it can be deadly it kills up to 650 thousand people a
year around the world there is a vaccine against it but how good is it actually
protecting us against the virus before we can answer that we need to take a
look at how it’s made the flu job itself is updated regularly as the virus
mutates and it’s a massive piece of global detective work to track the
latest strains scientists from almost 150 countries around the world monitor
the virus all year round to see how it’s changing looking at samples taken from
people with flu-like symptoms then twice a year experts meet to decide what goes
into the vaccine first of the whole of the Northern Hemisphere and then for the
whole of the southern hemisphere in time for it’s winter they have to leave
enough time for hundreds and millions of doses of a vaccine to be made the hope
is that new mutations of the virus don’t emerge too quickly if that happens
the vaccine will be less effective and more people will catch the flu so how
effective have the scientists been in defeating the virus well typically the
job protects between 30 and 60 percent of vaccinated people sometimes in a bad
year though it can be less effective and more people are infected and will get
ill but even if the vaccine doesn’t fully protect against one strain and
circulation it’ll probably protect you against the
others and people who catch flu having had the vaccine are usually less sick
for short periods of time so it’s still really important you have
the jab which you’re advised to and by the way the flu vaccine can’t give you
the flu, the virus is deactivated or killed before being used the science
behind predicting how the virus evolves is getting ever more sophisticated and
although it’s unlikely that flu will be eradicated anytime soon a more effective
vaccine based on predictions of how the virus will evolve in the future is
looking like it might be in reach

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