CDC shows effectiveness of flu vaccines this year

by Jared Lewis February 21, 2018, 0:32
CDC shows effectiveness of flu vaccines this year

However, a recent shocking report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has revealed that very same vaccine now only possesses a 36 percent degree of effectiveness against the disease; effectiveness is higher - 59 percent - when the vaccine is administered to children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years, the CDC said, although that number may not be quite high enough to quell the fears of parents statewide. It is important to get a flu shot every year because the formulation of the vaccine may change to match the predicted circulating strains and one's immune response may decline over time.

Fluad is a trivalent vaccine containing an adjuvant to boost protection. It is physically impossible to get the flu from the vaccine as there is no virus in the vaccine. But this season, new questions arose about the widely adopted egg-based vaccine production process, which was suspected to have reduced the shots' effectiveness, according to a recent New England Journal of Medicine commentary. That can lead to widespread inflammation that is ultimately fatal, Schaffner said. They are also more expensive.

What's at play seems to be a phenomenon known as "original antigenic sin". These antibodies target unique sites on the virus, and latch onto them to disable it.

Each year, a number of candidate vaccine viruses are selected and injected into eggs where they are incubated and replicate, or multiply, for several weeks. The site the antibodies recognize could still be there, but it may no longer be the crucial one to neutralize the virus.

The health center is also increasing its student health center service fee by $7 under the university's proposed tuition increases in order to fund more health and counseling services.

Instead, the vaccine may falter over a phenomenon called the 'original antigenic sin'.

Under-65s can continue to receive the regular trivalent influenza vaccine. "H3N2 grows very poorly in eggs". Thus, officials believed egg adaptations were the culprit that year. Already 63 children have died-three-quarters of whom were not vaccinated, according to CDC officials (via CNN). For some who haven't received a flu shot, infection with a flu strain they haven't previously been exposed to can trigger their immune system to overreact.

"Imagine influenza viruses are like different makes and models of cars", said Grad.

As of late last week, there have been 99,791 reported influenza cases in the state. If they guess wrong, more people get sick.

That's not to say egg adaptations don't always matter. A Canadian case-controlled study found it was 22% more effective.

They say the flu shot has properties that act as if they were blood pressure medication.

H3N2, a strain of the influenza A virus, has been the most common seen locally, said Gustafson, who's been a doctor in Shelbyville for 20 years.

There is an alternative, however.

In the meantime, the health center has been working to educate students on the potential dangers of contracting the flu and urging them to get vaccinated.

The machines have been finding their way into more and more clinics like this and may well be helping to save lives.

"There hasn't been enough consumer and medical demand to shift to more effective vaccines", Cobey said.


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