Flu vaccine may only be 10% effective this season, doctors warn

Flu vaccine may only be 10% effective this season, doctors warn

(KUTV) - The 2017-18 flu vaccine may not be as effective as previously thought, according to a report from The New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors monitor flu seasons in the southern hemisphere to predict how the flu will react later on as the virus makes its way north.

"Reports from Australia have caused mounting concern, with record-high numbers of laboratory-confirmed influenza notifications and outbreaks and higher-than-average numbers of hospitalizations and deaths. The number of notifications reached 215,280 by mid-October, far exceeding the 59,022 cases reported during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, according to the Australian Government Department of Health," according to the report.

"Influenza A (H3N2) viruses predominated, and the preliminary estimate of vaccine effectiveness against influenza A (H3N2) was only 10 percet. The implications for the Northern Hemisphere are not clear, but it is of note that the vaccine for this upcoming season has the same composition as that used in the Southern Hemisphere. As we prepare for a potentially severe influenza season, we must consider whether our current vaccines can be improved and whether longer-term, transformative vaccine approaches are needed to minimize influenza-related morbidity and mortality," the report states.

CBS News has more details in their report.

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