How Effective Is the Flu Vaccine This Year?

Influenza vaccine 48% effective overall
Influenza vaccine 48% effective overall

(HealthDay News) — This year's influenza vaccine is a fairly good match for the circulating viruses, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

These findings were based on data from 3,144 children and adults with acute respiratory illness seen during Nov. 28, 2016, to Feb. 4, 2017, at five sites with outpatient clinics in the United States.

Overall, the vaccine is 48 percent effective. For the predominant circulating influenza A type H3N2 flu strain, its effectiveness comes in at 43 percent. It's 73 percent effective against influenza B viruses, according to the CDC.

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"The effectiveness is a little bit lower than we would like to see, but it's similar to what we have seen for H3 viruses when the vaccine is a good match for what's circulating," Brendan Flannery, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the CDC, told HealthDay.

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