the myCME.com take:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned today that the current influenza vaccine may not be an accurate match for the most common seasonal influenza strains circulating in the United States this year. While vaccine developers make every effort to predict which strains will have the greatest impact, it can be nearly impossible to formulate the perfect product. Here’s what you need to know:
- An advisory has been issued to doctors nothing that of a sampling of influenza cases taken between October 1 and November 22, just less than 50% were a good match for the current influenza A (H3N2) component in influenza shots for the 2014-2015 season.
- According to the CDC, influenza shots have been less effective in the past during seasons in which the H3N2 strains mutated. Influenza seasons with high rates of H3N2 infection tend to have higher hospitalization rates and flu-related deaths, particularly in older people and young children compared with influenza seasons dominated by the influenza A (H1N1) virus or influenza B viruses.
- Influenza shots may still offer some protection by reducing the most severe complications, such as hospitalization and death. However, the CDC is stressing that doctors should be prepared to treat with antiviral medications when needed.