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The Flu Vaccine: Stronger Than Ever

March 04, 2016
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It's a good year for the flu vaccine. After multiple studies done in over 142 national influenza centers in 113 countries, the flu vaccine this year is almost 60% effective. At 59% percent, this year's flu shot ranks as the second most effective in the United States since a decade ago, when the records began. While the flu is consistently varying, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that getting an annual flu vaccination is the best way to ward off the flu for those 6 months and older. Last year (2014-2015) the flu vaccine effectiveness was only at 23%, making this year's accuracy look even better. The effectiveness of this year's shot can be broken down into three viruses:
  1. H1N1: 51%
  2. Influenza B Virus: 76%
  3. B/Yamagata Lineage of B Virus: 79%
This year, the highest rate of those at risk for the flu are those ages 50+ (especially those older than 65) and those under 5 years old. When it comes to how the viruses are chosen to be included in the vaccination, it comes to three different factors:
  1. Which flu virus is moving throughout the globe
  2. How the flu virus is spreading
  3. How well the current vaccine could hold up to the new strains
Often times people reject the option to get the flu shot due to still having gotten sick with the flu in the past. While this might seem like a legitimate reason to ward off the flu shot, the reasoning is actually invalid. Viruses other than the flu virus can result in flu-like illness during flu season. The seasonal flu vaccine cannot protect someone from those things, making it possible that one would receive a different type of flu. This, however, would occur whether someone got the vaccine or not. When it comes to preventing yourself from getting the flu, there are a few different things you can do. The first step is to get the flu shot to ensure that you either don't get the flu or you get a less severe reaction. The second thing you can do is take anti-viral drugs. Finally, practicing good hygiene is an essential, this means washing your hands often, covering your mouth when you cough, and other healthy practices along those lines. shutterstock_170777408  
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