Geez, even the flu vaccine effective rate stinks under Barack Obama …
Hey America, aren’t you glad you got a flu shot that is only 23% effective? US health officials at the CDC have stated that this years flu vaccine has one of the worst effective rates in the last decade. It amazingly has only a 23% effective rate primarily because it does not combat against the flu strain that has been making most sick, the H3N2 virus. Oops. That particular flu strain has caused 2/3 of the illnesses. This might surprise many people. Each year the flu vaccine is reformulated, based on experts’ best guess, at which three or four strains will be the biggest problem. THEY GUESS?!? Are you kidding me? So between the US population and an influenza flu pandemic we have a bunch of “experts” throwing darts at a dartboard and grabbing names out of a hat to determine what makes up the flu vaccine. Hmm, how did that work out for us?
As predicted, this year’s flu vaccine is doing a pretty crummy job. It’s only 23 percent effective, primarily because it doesn’t include the bug that is making most people sick, according to a government study released Thursday.
That’s one of the worst performances in the last decade, since U.S. health officials started routinely tracking how well vaccines work. In the best flu seasons, the vaccines were 50 to 60 percent effective.
“This is an uncommon year,” said Dr. Alicia Fry, a flu vaccine expert at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who was involved in the study.
The findings are not surprising. In early December, CDC officials warned the vaccine probably wouldn’t work very well because the it isn’t well matched to a strain that’s been spreading widely.
Each year, the flu vaccine is reformulated, based on experts’ best guess at which three or four strains will be the biggest problem. Those decisions are usually made in February, months before the flu season, to give companies that make flu shots and nasal spray vaccine enough time to make enough doses.
But this year’s formula didn’t include the strain of H3N2 virus that ended up causing about two-thirds of the illnesses this winter. And that strain tends to cause more hospitalizations and deaths, particularly in the elderly, making this a particularly bad winter to have a problem with the flu vaccine.
Deaths due to influenza and pneumonia have hit “epidemic” levels in the U.S. as flu activity became widespread in 36 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Officials reported 837 flu and pneumonia deaths to the CDC through its 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System during the 51st week of the year. Those deaths accounted for 6.8% of the 12,358 total deaths that week, just meeting the epidemic threshold.
Influenza activity was considered “widespread” in 36 states during week 51, according to the CDC’s most recent FluView report. These states included Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.