Flu vaccine may not be as effective as usual

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Flu season is upon us, but unfortunately there may not be much you can do to completely prevent it this year.

The CDC is reporting that the flu vaccine may not be very effective this winter. The vaccine only prevents certain strands, so if other strands are prevalent you can still get the flu.

In Connecticut, laboratory-confirmed flu cases have been reported in local areas, but there hasn’t be a statewide spread of flu so far, according to the CDC. The agency is reporting that overall, flu activity is low across the country, but there are signs that its prevalence is increasing. In fact, a report released on Thursday says data is showing we might be in for a severe flu season.

The reason that the CDC thinks we may have a severe flu season is because so far the predominant strain seen has been H3N2, and the three seasons in the last 10 years in which that was the predominant strain ended up having the highest mortality rates. So far, about half of the cases of H3N2 diagnosed have been drift variants, meaning changes within individual people make the strain different from the season’s vaccine.

Despite the new information, physicians are still recommending that people get a flu shot, according to a press release from Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. If you get the flu after being vaccinated in a year in which the vaccine doesn’t quite match the strand spreading, symptoms and complications will still be reduced compared to if you didn’t get vaccinated. The CDC recommends that all people over the age of 6 months get vaccinated.

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