Health Officials: Flu Shot May Only Be 10% Effective This Season

Flu virus spreading faster than usual this season- Jennifer Auh reports

Flu virus spreading faster than usual this season- Jennifer Auh reports

USA health officials said they are concerned the upcoming flu season could be a bad one, based on reports from the Southern Hemisphere, where the flu season recently ended for the year.

According to the Center for Disease Control, flu vaccine prevents close to 2.5 million flu-related doctor visits and 71,000 hospitalizations.

Flu does constantly evolve, forcing new vaccine to be brewed each year to match the strains specialists expect to cause most illness.

Despite the varying degrees of effectiveness, the authors stress current flu vaccines "remain a valuable public health tool" and suggest "it is always better to get vaccinated than not to get vaccinated". The CDC estimates that 40% to 50% of people who get vaccinated might still get the flu. But flu vaccine doesn't protect against colds or other respiratory viruses that people can confuse with influenza.

The Edmonton zone has reported 167 lab confirmed cases and 61 hospitalizations.

With winter kicking into full swing, so is flu season.

As of November 25, 371 people across Canada have been hospitalized due to the flu and eight have died.

First flu-related death of the season hits Edmonton

Australia's bad flu season may have been due, in part, to a mismatch between the flu strains included in this year's flu vaccine and the flu strains that were circulating in the public.

CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible. "In fact, it's a great time to get a shot before the flu season takes off".

For Calgary's Laura Hampton, any protection against the flu is good protection when it comes to her one-year-old son Jack. The self-pay cost of vaccines is $25 and the high-dose vaccine for people 65 or older cost is $55. Last year, the state had 15 flu-related deaths, most among the elderly.

The costs of flu vaccines vary on insurance plans, but many planes cover the vaccines at no cost, according to Crow.

FluMist, a less ouchy nasal spray vaccine, once was popular with children. The five-year average for this point in the flu season is 102 cases for Arizona and 6.4 cases for Coconino County.

That's the same advice this year: Youngsters will need a shot, just like their parents.

You better stock up on chicken soup this year.

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