Amid nightmare flu season, FDA working on next year's vaccine

01 March, 2018, 13:35 | Author: Austin Daniel
  • America's Nightmare Flu Season Is Finally Coming to an End

That's because the vaccine is more effective against other types of the flu that are also now circulating.

However, Dr. Wilson says flu activity is still widespread, and citizens need to take precautions in order to avoid catching it; and that includes staying home from school or work if you're sick, and getting a flu shot. To find out, FDA plans to analyze Medicaid and Medicare health data on over 4 million Americans to figure out why the flu vaccine they may have received was "less than optimal", Gottlieb said. 25 percent for type A and 46 percent for type B. It's even better for six month old babies to eight year old children, 59 percent effective overall. Meanwhile, public officials are trying to make it clear that the vaccine itself can't cause the flu epidemic.

Thirteen more pediatric deaths associated with the flu were reported last week, bringing the total to 97.

There are four types of influenza in play this year, Douglas said, and the effectiveness of the vaccine has varied depending on the type of flu.

However, the vaccine proved significantly less effective at general prevention than the flu shot.

It's "not too late to get vaccinated if you have not yet done so, given that we are starting to see a larger proportion of illnesses caused by H1N1 and B influenza, for which vaccines offer better protection", Gottlieb said.

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Influenza spreads chiefly through close personal contact, especially when people are in enclosed spaces for an extended period of time, which makes the classroom an ideal environment for spreading the flu, Schaffner said.

So why did this season's vaccines not deliver higher protection against H3N2?

The flu season, which started earlier and was more severe than previous years, slammed emergency rooms and doctors' offices across the Chicago area and nationwide. It was 0 percent effective against one major flu strain during the 2016-2017 flu season. One theory is that people might require a higher amount of H3N2 antigen to elicit a proper immune response to that particular strain of influenza. 17, the agency said that 6.4 percent of visits to doctors were for the flu - down from 7.5 percent the week before. "Clearly states that the vaccination is at least part of the problem if not the whole problem".

Those who get the vaccine and still get the flu are less likely to experience flu complications (such as pneumonia) since the virus tends to be milder in people who were vaccinated.

The FDA remains committed to determining the root cause for the shortcomings observed in the effectiveness of this season's flu vaccine against H3N2, notifying the public of our work as we gain new insights, and applying what we learn to future vaccine development.


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