The CDC has been under scrutiny all year. The reason? This year’s flu shot has been called out as subpar. Some news sources have decided that the poor quality of the flu shot resulted in over-confident people who allowed themselves more exposure to the flu than they would have otherwise. There are also those that believe it is the flu shot causing the flu.
All the same, the CDC has admitted in the past that this year’s flu shot wasn’t up to snuff; until now, of course. Now the flu shot is suddenly great again, according to an article in the New York Times.
The flu vaccine is more effective than expected, federal health officials said on Thursday at a special news conference held to discuss the dangerous flu season, which is expected to kill more than 50,000 Americans.
This year’s vaccine is about 25 percent effective against the H3N2 strain of flu that is causing most illnesses and deaths, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a bigger surprise, the vaccine is about 51 percent effective in children, according to the C.D.C.’s preliminary analysis.
In Australia, the same vaccine was rated about 10 percent effective overall against H3N2, and a recent Canadian analysis found it to be about 17 percent effective there. (The C.D.C.’s final analysis will not be ready until the flu season ends in late spring.)
I suppose that American humans are vastly different beings from those in Australia and Canada? Or, we are going to roll with the “flu strain was different” rhetoric?
“Imagine if we could cut our chances of being in a car crash by 39 percent, or our child’s by 59 percent,” said Alex M. Azar II, the new secretary of health and human services who led the news conference, comparing flu shots to seatbelts.
I find this all a little too convenient for my comfort. The flu shot was in total disarray on a global level until…yesterday? Now it has suddenly risen from the ashes as a life-saving shot.