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Verify: If The Flu Shot Is 10% Effective, Should You Get It?

Verify: If The Flu Shot Is 10% Effective, Should You Get It?

As we creep into colder months, Lexington health officials tell LEX 18 that there is an increased risk you could get the Flu.

There have been 612 flu-related hospitalizations reported, and no reports of pediatric deaths from influenza.

At this same time previous year, there were not any. Those suspecting they have the flu who are pregnant, have other underlying medical conditions or who fall extremely ill are encouraged by ODH to seek medical attention immediately. In Australia, the government reported most of the known influenza cases were H3N2, and Australian labs diagnosed more than two and a half times more cases of the flu this year (compared to last). Maternal vaccination was also associated with a reduction in flu-related hospitalizations in infants.

Furthermore, in tropical climates, where flu activity can persist year-round, the authors concluded that new vaccination strategies that recommend individuals receive a flu shot every 6 months may help control the virus.

Officials say over the last three seasons, there have been 19 pediatric influenza deaths in NY and an average of 11,183 influenza-related hospitalizations each season. Flu season typically lasts until mid-May, and often peaks in February.

Yet an expert from the state DPH said it's a bit early to push the panic button and declare this season's vaccine ineffective.

According to CDC numbers, vaccine effectiveness usually ranges from around 40 to 60-percent, but they do occasionally dip in certain seasons when the vaccine created doesn't match well with the type of flu circulating.

That being said, doctors say that the vaccine is still the best defense.

"We don't know what's going to happen here", he said. Studies show influenza vaccine can sometimes make the illness milder even if a patient does contract the virus. The study, published Wednesday in the Lancet, says between 291,000 and 646,000 people likely succumb to these respiratory diseases each year-potentially far more than prior estimates hovering between 250,000 and 500,000 casualties.

Flu symptoms, which can include fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue, generally don't pose serious consequences for many people, but can develop into more serious health problems like pneumonia or respiratory failure and can, at times, be fatal.

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