KHN Morning Briefing

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Mediocre Protection Rates Have Many Asking When We’ll Get A Better Flu Vaccine

Though it was no worse than previous ones, the fact that this year's shot only cut the chance of infection in half highlights the need for a more effective vaccination.

Stat: Flu Vaccine Is Only Moderately Protective This Year, CDC Says
This year’s flu vaccine is offering moderate protection against the main family of viruses causing illness, data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. The data come as what has been a pretty active flu season is near its apex in many parts of the country. “We won’t know when the peak has occurred until we’ve passed it and have a couple of weeks to look back,” said Lynnette Brammer, head of domestic influenza surveillance at the CDC. “We hopefully are approaching the peak but we may not be there yet.” (Branswell, 2/16)

Bloomberg: This Year's Flu Shot Only Cut Infection Risk By Less Than Half 
Americans who rolled up their sleeves for a flu shot this year cut their chances of coming down with the aches and fever of influenza by almost half, a level of protection that is disappointing for a vaccine but still better than in some recent years. As the virus continues to sweep across the U.S. at epidemic levels, vaccine effectiveness level was 48 percent against acute respiratory illness from the end of November through Feb. 4, according to an analysis of 3,144 people enrolled in the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network. (Cortez, 2/16)

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