Flu Vaccine May Only Be 10 Percent Effective This Year

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Detailed weekly flu surveillance reports and other related flu articles are posted on the Mass Public Health Blog. The official start of flu season begins when at least 2.2 percent of patients are reporting flu symptoms, and the USA reached that level in late November.

In 2016 there were 282 reported lab cases of the flu confirmed in Genesee County and 83 reported lab cases of the flu confirmed in Orleans County.

Health officials are warning that the flu season could be bad and that it's coming early. "Make sure that influenza is not one of the gifts you are passing around this holiday season".

However, even an imperfect vaccine can help prevent or lessen the severity of illness, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

Influenza A virus subtype, or strain, H3N2 was predominant in Australia this year and the vaccine, which is the same one in the US, was only 10 percent effective against that specific strain.

Influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent getting the flu, but it takes up to two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

"Even if the vaccine is only 10 percent effective against H3N2, the vaccine does protect against other strains that are circulating", he said. There were 260,000 doses of vaccine ordered for the current flu season, and more can be obtained if needed.

As of last Friday, visitors to Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) facilities are being asked to wear a surgical mask if they haven't received their annual flu shot.

Main Public Health Center, 280 S. Decatur Blvd.

Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. -1 p.m. But flu shots can be anywhere from 10 percent to 60 percent effective.

This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week, which is a push for the medical community to encourage everyone who has not received a flu shot yet to get one. 5555 or visit their website at www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/health/index.html.

Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on your phone by texting "follow SNHDinfo" to 40404.