After reports confirmed that the effectiveness of flu vaccines during last year’s winter was below 20 percent, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bared that this year’s flu vaccines will be more effective.
With 60-percent effectiveness, the rate of an individual contracting influenza virus becomes much lower this year, an advisory from the CDC shows. The vaccine effectiveness (VE) is released annually by the CDC as part of its advisory to its stakeholder. This year’s flu VE was announced in a recently conducted CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) in Atlanta.
Dr. Joseph Bresee, CDC’s of CDC’s Epidemiology and Prevention unit chief, said in the advisory that the recent VE would mean more people are protected from contracting the flu, and hospital admittance will be reduced in this year’s winter season.
“This means that getting a flu vaccine this season reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by nearly 60 percent. It’s good news and underscores the importance and the benefit of both annual and ongoing vaccination efforts this season,” Bresee said in the statement.
Although flu activity started much later this year in relative to previous winter seasons, the agency’s activities and drive have been in heightened levels for the past months. For five weeks now, CDC reports their activity on flu has been in an elevated status. Data from the CDC, which tracks at least 13 past flu seasons, shows that flu season usually stretches up to 20 weeks with an average of 13 weeks.
A recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that influenza activity, especially in the Northern hemisphere, has increased lately. It shows that the spike in flu incidents was mostly observed in Europe followed by North America. The United States, together with Canada and the rest of North America, recorded an increase in flu activities, especially in influenza A (H1N1) virus.