CDC data find flu vaccine is effective against hospitalization
Influenza vaccines have cut people’s risk of being hospitalized from the disease by approximately half, according to a new CDC report.
The report findings are based on preliminary data from countries in the southern hemisphere such as Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Influenza season for those countries usually lasts from March to July.
“This report might help health officials in Northern Hemisphere jurisdictions prepare for a potentially early influenza season and highlight the benefits of vaccination,” CDC said.
International health experts gather twice each year to identify strains of influenza the season’s vaccines should target. The vaccines generally reduce the risk of serious illness by 40% to 60%. Vaccines for the northern hemisphere’s influenza season, which usually last from October to May, tend to be comparable to those used in the southern hemisphere.
CDC said initial U.S. cases of influenza seem to be caused by the same strains that were dominant in the southern hemisphere, “providing an encouraging outlook for vaccine protection.”
The agency noted that it is uncertain if these strains will remain dominant in the United States as the influenza season continues. The agency advised everyone 6 months and older to get an influenza vaccine every flu season.