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Friday, December 5, 2014

Post #41 Update on the 2014-15 Flu Vaccine

The main circulating flu this year is a recently mutated H3N2 strain (91% in one sample).  Because of this new mutation, the vaccine currently used is not a great match for this particular strain. 

In my medical opinion, this paradoxically makes it even MORE IMPORTANT to get the flu vaccine. Mainly, because the worse protection the flu vaccine offers, the more widespread the flu will be this year, and this increases the likelihood that a large percentage of people, both immunized and unimmunized, will contract the flu. However, those who are unimmunized will be at an even greater risk of catching the flu. 

Essentially, there is less herd protection this year and everyone is going to get exposed. And while the flu vaccine is not a great match it still offers some protection against the new H3N2 strain, and since it is highly likely that almost everyone is going to get exposed to the flu, some protection is better than no protection. Also, the flu vaccine protects against the 9% of other strains circulating. 

Sadly, 5 kids have already died this year from flu-related illnesses and the flu season is just beginning.

Deadlier Flu Season Is Possible, C.D.C. Says

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