Flu vaccine not as effective as hoped against this year's dominant strain

Flu vaccine not as effective as hoped against this year's dominant strain

Officials are predicting this year's flu season will be harsher than normal, and the flu shot may not be as effective at preventing the virus as it has been in the past.

Widespread flu activity is now in four states where past year there were none at this time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3-7 is a national awareness week focusing on the importance of influenza vaccination and reminding people that the holiday season is a good time to make sure our communities are ready to fight the flu.

And there's more bad news, it seems the dominant strain this year will be H3N2, which is a more severe form of the flu.

According to Mel Miller, Tioga County Public Health Nurse, "It is important to get the flu vaccine because if you get the flu it can be very serious". You can download the app on any device, which allows patients to get virtual care from a doctor online.

"The take-home message is that there's a desperate need for a more effective influenza vaccine", Dr. Meissner said.

Dr. Gordon said so far, the Cleveland Clinic Health System has already seen about two dozen cases of the flu, which is the sporadic category, but is not yet considered widespread. And although strains that circulate in the Southern Hemisphere often spread to North America and Europe, there's no guarantee it will make a repeat performance.

The vaccination program ended a couple of weeks ago, and in addition to adults getting their shots, 1,890 Campbell County students also received a flu shot, said Nachelle McGrath, Campbell County Healthcare Foundation executive director.

The strain, H3N2, showed a high level of resistance to vaccines in Australia, and is expected to continue to do so in Canada.

CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.

The state of flu vaccine science is advancing, Madoff said, but that's over a span of years; it's not a consideration for this year. Last year, the state had 15 flu-related deaths, most among the elderly.

The CDC is reporting hundreds of new flu cases every week.