Flu Shot 10 Percent Effective-Why You Should Still Get One

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Jill Chadwick

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          This season’s flu vaccines work just 10 percent of the time according to a new study, but doctors with The University of Kansas Health System are urging residents to get flu shots anyway … especially infants, children, the elderly and those with chronic health issues. The findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine come from the Australian Government Department of Health, but the flu vaccine used in the Australian study are similar to those administered here.

Still, Infectious Disease specialist, Dr. Dana Hawkins, says that is not a reason to skip the vaccination this year. He says the relatively low number was because the primary flu this year had a “genetic drift” from one of the flu strains in the vaccine. He says an overall 10 percent benefit, while lower than desired, can prevent some flu and cause milder symptoms if you do get the flu. Hawkinson says progress is being made in better matching of the flu vaccine but the process is still as much an art form as a science. He recommends using Tamiflu as a secondary measure for treating influenza. It works if you take it in the first day or two that you’ve been sick. The Health System to date has admitted three flu patients.

            The video shows vials of this year’s influenza vaccine and shots of patients receiving the vaccination.