CDC finds flu shots 42% effective this season, better than some recent years

Flu vaccine is 58% ineffective, and the CDC calls it "good" ...

CBS News – This season’s influenza vaccines have been 42% effective so far, according to a new interim estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, amounting to protection against the virus that appears as good or better than seasons going back to 2016.

First previewed Wednesday at a meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, details of the latest vaccine effectiveness, referred to as VE, estimates were published Thursday in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“We’re right in the range that we typically see when the vaccine is a good match with the viruses that are circulating. Good VE, and it’s working consistent with past years,” said Sascha Ellington, head of the CDC’s influenza prevention and control team.

The exact strains selected to be targeted by flu vaccines are tweaked each year based on what health authorities project will be the best match to the circulating viruses each season. In recent years, vaccines have been designed to target four different subtypes of flu: two from the influenza A group of viruses and two from influenza B.

The estimates are from four ongoing studies backed by the agency which put together actively test patients and draw on records from immunization registries, clinics, urgent care services, emergency rooms, hospitals and health insurance claims around the U.S.

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Estimates show vaccines this season were between 52% and 61% effective in protecting children against influenza hospitalization. In adults, the shots were estimated to be 41% to 44% effective.

While effectiveness looks good for this season, Ellington warned that declining vaccination rates means the U.S. could still see fewer hospitalizations and deaths prevented by vaccines this season.

“To prevent flu hospitalizations and deaths on the population level, we need both good vaccine effectiveness and we need people to get vaccinated,” she said …



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