Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently stated that preliminary overall influenza vaccine effectiveness amounts to 59 percent for this influenza season.
This information, given at an Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices meeting in Atlanta, supports the CDC encouraging people to receive their influenza vaccines. The influenza season is still ongoing, so it is important to receive protection against the virus.
"This means that getting a flu vaccine this season reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by nearly 60 percent,” Dr. Joseph Bresee, chief of CDC’s Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, said. "It’s good news and underscores the importance and the benefit of both annual and ongoing vaccination efforts this season."
The vaccine effectiveness results show that it is 79 percent effective in protecting people from the B/Yamagata lineage of B viruses. It is also 76 percent efficient against all B influenza viruses and 51 percent effective against the H1N1 viruses, which cause most of the annual flu sicknesses.
"Flu activity this season started a bit later and has been lower so far than we've seen during the previous three seasons, but activity is still on the upswing and expected to continue for several weeks," Bresee said. "Flu causes serious illnesses and deaths every year. This season, CDC has received reports of hospitalizations and deaths in young, otherwise healthy people who were infected with influenza A H1N1, but not vaccinated."