We hear and read the same words (or at least the same message) almost everywhere we go: Get Your Flu Shot. This is the most common piece of medical advice doled out today, yet is it really an effective barrier between us and the flu virus?
Research conducted by the CDC conclude that only about one-half of the predominant strain of flu virus this season, the H3N2, is prevented by taking the flue shot. The research done by the CDC concluded that the H3N2 virus has mutated, also called a viral drift, and the current flu shot is not effective against it.
Mutation is not unheard of, but it is uncommon and what all of this boils down too is that the current flu shot is not as effective as it has been in the previous years. The effective rate of the flu shot this season is predicted to be 40%, not good, but admittedly better than nothing if you are numbered among the 40% that do not get the H3N2 virus because you were protected by the flu shot.
It’s too early in the season to predict whether or not the viral drift will create an epidemic of flu, even though the CDC reported epidemic rates last season and the flu shot was effective against the virus strain. This story was shared with me by friend Bruce Levenson.