Study Follows the Effect of the Flu Vaccine


A recent study by the University of Florida, and published in the journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases, indicates that often times the flu vaccine that people get does not cover the virus that is most widespread that particular year.

The World Health Organization picks between one and four flu types annually to cover under the vaccine for that year. The study suggests that better surveillance of the flu would make it easier to anticipate what strains might be most common that year.   For example, the strain of the flu most people suffered from was not covered under the vaccine for the 2013-2014, or 2014-2015, flu seasons. This makes the vaccine less effective in protecting the public from the virus.  Dr. J. Glenn Morris, the director of the University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute noted, “What this says to us is that we tend to think of the flu as this monolithic virus, but what our data show is that there are striking differences between strains of the virus.”

The 2015-2016 flu vaccine will carry four types of the flu including two types of Influenza A and two types of Influenza B.  Last flu season, 16% of flu sufferers were children under 17, which was a significant increase from the 2013-2014 flu season.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the flu is particularly dangerous for children under the age of 5, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and nursing home residents.

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