Flu vaccine may be only 10 percent effective this year, experts say

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If you received a flu shot this year, it may not protect you from contracting the potentially deadly disease.

However, the problem with flu is that the virus constantly changes. In the last week, cases in Washington State are also on the rise.

"They had quite a substantial epidemic due to H3N2, so there's a lot of speculation that that's foreboding a severe season for us also", she said from Vancouver.

"But we can not say we will go on to experience the kind of severe season Australia had, in part because we ourselves had a fairly severe epidemic due to H3N2 in 2016-17", Skowronski said. This after the vaccine wouldn't work on several strains of flu in South America. The Universal Influenza Vaccine Initiative, on the other hand, seeks to target additional flu proteins, such as the stalk, a much more stable region.

So far this flu season, San Diego County has had four people die of influenza. The number of Americans who have contracted the illness is likely even greater, an agency spokeswoman cautioned, since most people don't go to the doctor and get tested. But "a modest benefit [from the vaccine] is better than no benefit, especially with an illness that can cause between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths in a year".

"Dr. Crowe and his team are experts in figuring out which antibodies are important, making them in bulk, determining their biology, and then evaluating their effectiveness in animal models of infection", Creech said.

Already, more than half of New York's counties - including Nassau and Suffolk - have had cases of the infection confirmed by Wadsworth Center, the state Department of Health's laboratory in Albany.

The flu season is declared under-way once we have reached an above-average number of people with influenza symptoms (i.e. more than 2.2 percent of people). According to the CDC, the best way *not* to get the flu, is to get vaccinated. "And at the end of the day, to know that we might be able to protect the most vulnerable around us with a universal influenza vaccine - that's a reason to get excited about science".

Some infectious disease researchers are blaming the outdated methods for cultivating flu vaccines. Between the same time period past year, there were 2,510.

Kristen Nordlund, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control, said the federal agency will be releasing later this week the season's first set of data on what the expected vaccine effectiveness is in the United States and what early-season flu vaccination coverage looks like.