In A Season Featuring Two Waves Of Flu Strains, Vaccine Is Doing OK At Protecting Americans
The flu vaccine is particularly hard to get right, and overall average around 40%. The current seasonal flu vaccine protects about 45% of recipients.
The Associated Press:
In Rough US Flu Season For Kids, Vaccine Working OK So Far
It may end up being a bad flu season for kids, but early signs suggest the vaccine is working OK. The vaccine has been more than 50% effective in preventing flu illness severe enough to send a child to the doctor's office, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Health experts consider that pretty good. The vaccines are made each year to protect against three or four different kinds of flu virus. The ingredients are based on predictions of what strains will make people sick the following winter. It doesn't always work out. (Stobbe, 2/20)
At Midseason, Flu Vaccine Yields 45% Protection In US, 58% In Canada
The beginning of the US flu season was dominated by influenza B/Victoria, but since December, cases of H1N1 flu have increased. Despite the protection, the authors said markers of severe illness, including laboratory-confirmed flu-associated hospitalization rates among children and adolescents, are higher than in recent seasons, including the severe 2017-18 season. The authors also noted that the 92 flu-associated deaths in children are the most at this point in the season since reporting began in 2004-05, other than the 2009 pandemic season, and stress the importance of still getting vaccinated if people have not yet done so.(Soucheray, 2/20)
Flu Deaths Skyrocket To 328 In California, 14,000 In U.S.
While Americans have been transfixed by concerns about the potential spread of new coronavirus in the United States, a growing number of U.S. citizens have been dying as a result of the seasonal influenza epidemic. Public health officials announced Jan. 21 that the first confirmed case of COVID-19 arrived in the U.S. Since then, 14 other cases have been reported. During that same time period, more than 100 people have died of the flu in California. (Anderson, 2/20)
The Associated Press:
AP-NORC Poll: More Americans Worry About Flu Than New Virus
A wide share of Americans are at least moderately confident in U.S. health officials’ ability to handle emerging viruses, and more express concern about catching the flu than catching the new coronavirus, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The findings are encouraging to those banking on Americans' trust in the health officials who are ordering quarantines and travel restrictions to contain the virus first detected in China. (2/20)