The flu versus the flu vaccine
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
The flu vaccine is supposed to keep the flu at bay. So what happened this season?
Usually, the vaccine is well-targeted to seasonal flu strains. But to allow time for companies to make vaccine, experts must predict the flu types six to nine months in advance of the season. The closer they get to just right, the more specific the vaccines are, and the better the protection. And a strain that came up this season didn’t have a close match in the vaccine.
But at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. David Shay says people should still give vaccination their best shot:
``We do have evidence that, even in years where the match between the circulating vaccine strains is not perfect, there’s still protection against more severe outcomes such as hospitalizations.’’ (9 seconds)
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011