The flu vaccine barely worked to protect elderly people this year, and it helped prevent illness in just 56 percent of adults and children overall, federal health officials said Thursday.
The flu vaccine reduced the chances of illness by just 9 percent in people over 65, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Overall, it reduced illness by 56 percent.
Although this year’s vaccine was considered a good match for the most common circulating flu viruses, it still only provided 47 percent protection against the main virus, called H3N2, the CDC said in its weekly report on death and illness.
And that was bad news for people over 65, because it has been an especially tough influenza season.
(Reuters) - A U.S. government analysis of this season's flu vaccine suggests it was effective in only 56 percent of people who got the shot, and it largely failed to protect the elderly against an especially deadly strain circulating during flu season.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the findings underscore the need for more effective weapons in the fight against influenza, which kills between 3,000 and 50,000 people in the United States each year depending on the severity of the flu season