A government study has found that the flu vaccine available in the market this year is not doing well as it is only 23 percent effective in curing the symptoms of flu.
According to the government report, this is one of the worst performances in the last ten years.
The poor showing is mainly due to the absence of the bug from the vaccine that is making most people ill.
“This is an uncommon year and hence the findings are not surprising,” said Dr. Alicia Fry, a flu vaccine expert at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who was involved in the government-sponsored study.
In early December, the CDC has also warned against the inefficacy of the vaccine probably because it isn’t well matched to a flu strain that’s been playing havoc this season.
For the new study, the CDC researchers involved 2,321 people from five states —Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas and Washington. All the participants chosen for the study had respiratory illnesses between November to early January.
It was found that the vaccinated people had a 23 percent reduced chance of winding up at the doctor with the symptoms of flu.
According to the health experts, the formula used this year to prepare the vaccine didn’t include the H3N2 virus strain and this is because it caused nearly two-thirds of the illnesses this winter.
They further said that the strain is likely to cause more deaths and hospitalizations. Among the people who are at most vulnerable position are the elderly, pregnant women and children.
Hence, it won’t be wrong to say that the flu season is shaping up to be a bad one. The vaccines for flu were 50 to 60 percent effective in the last decade.