2017 vaccine has low effectiveness rate

Senior Airman Areca T. Wilson  U.S. Air Force

"While it's imperfect, if you have a common disease with substantial morbidity and mortality, you prevent a lot of cases", says Richard Zimmerman, a flu epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Twenty-three flu cases were reported to the Yakima Health District in the last week alone.

Flu season typically begins in October and runs through March. In the worst cases, seasonal flu can result in a stay in hospital, and it can even be fatal.

Through early December, 77 people admitted to the hospital have tested positive for the flu - almost 200 people have been tested due to their symptoms, according to the report.

Flu season appears to be kicking into high gear, and Yakima health officials are reminding the community that it's not too late to get a flu shot. Because influenza and other viruses are easily spread where groups of people gather together, it is important to do your part to keep everyone around you healthy.

A vaccination is recommended for everyone over six months old, especially pregnant women, the elderly, and those with a weakened immune system.

What's more, American vaccine manufacturers look at the strain hitting Australia when producing the vaccines for the USA, but that strain can mutate within the six to eight months the US industry needs to produce the vaccines.

North America Flu Vaccine Market Segmentation by Types: Whole Virus Vaccines, Split Virus Vaccines, Subunit Vaccines, Live Attenuated Virus Vaccines, and more.

Deb Roberts, Director of Nursing for Allen County Public Health said hospitalizations are already three times what they were at this time past year. [Find out where else you can get a flu shot].

A report published today shows the rate of adults getting vaccinated against influenza this year has dropped 3.7 percent, meaning just a third of adults and children are protected.

Gina Games, a pharmacist at JR Pharmacy in Terre Haute, says this could potentially be a rough flu season.

It's one of many reasons Orlando resident Jan Ador said she got her flu shot. The number of cases took flu's designation from sporadic outbreaks to widespread. More importantly, if you do still get the flu - even though you got a flu shot - you won't get as sick as you might have without it. She developed the flu and was treated with Tamiflu. Researchers explained that the strain of the flu virus that manufacturers used to produce the shots has just mutated rendering the drugs almost useless. Children of all ages with a health condition that puts them at greater risk of flu are also eligible for the flu vaccine. As health officials rushed to contain the outbreak, the CDC admitted that the 2014 flu vaccine did not protect well against H3N2 - it had just seven percent chance of protection.

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