It seems as though every year it is the same exact story. The flu shot fails. But the “flu shot is still the best thing going.”
According to ABC News
The flu vaccine did a poor job protecting older Americans against the illness last winter, even though the vaccine was well-matched to the flu bugs going around.
U.S. health officials on Wednesday released new vaccine data showing it did a so-so job overall.
The vaccine was about 42 percent effective in preventing illness severe enough to send a patient to the doctor’s office. But it was essentially ineffective protecting some age groups. That includes people 65 and older — the group that’s hardest hit by flu, suffering the most deaths and hospitalizations.
And it gets worse.
In four of the last seven flu seasons, flu vaccine was essentially ineffective in seniors, past studies suggest. The worst performances tend to be in H3N2-dominant seasons.
Health officials say flu vaccine still protects many people. And even if fares poorly against the dominant virus, it can do a good job against other circulating flu strains.
“While it is clear we need better flu vaccines, it’s important that we not lose sight of the important benefits of vaccination with currently available vaccines,” said Jill Ferdinands, a flu epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a statement.
So now the flu shot’s ineffectiveness will be leveraged for improved versions to keep the cycle going.