Navigation Links
Flu Vaccine Fell Short for Seniors This Season: CDC
Date:2/22/2013

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The flu vaccine has fallen markedly short of expectations for older Americans this winter, offering this vulnerable population protection against the most virulent strain of flu virus just 9 percent of the time, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.

Even among the general population, the vaccine's effectiveness was just 56 percent, which is considered slightly below average, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Complicating matters, the 2012-13 season has turned out to be one of the more severe flu seasons in recent years because of the presence of the H3N2 virus -- a strain associated with severe bouts of influenza.

"This was really a worse-than-average flu season," said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner. "It hit the elderly particularly hard. We saw a lot of hospitalizations and, unfortunately, a lot of deaths of the elderly."

"For reasons we don't fully understand, the efficacy rate in those 65 and older against H3N2 was lower than what we would like," he said.

This makes it even more important for the elderly, even if they've been vaccinated, to seek treatment early with antiviral drugs like Tamiflu when they come down with the flu, Skinner said.

Dr. Marc Siegel, associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, agreed that it's "not an ideal vaccine, but it offers a public health advantage -- it's worth taking."

"The reason this vaccine is not that effective for the elderly is because it's hard for the elderly to mount an immune response," he added.

The vaccine is most effective against influenza B viruses, reaching a level of 67 percent protection both overall and among seniors, the CDC report showed.

"The message is we need better vaccines," Skinner said.

Skinner noted that vaccination is still the best protection against the flu, because even if you get sick the vaccine may make the illness milder.

"If people use these numbers not to get vaccinated, I think that will be a tragedy," Skinner said. "Some protection is certainly better than no protection at all."

The findings were published Feb. 22 in the CDC publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

This flu season has caused high hospitalization rates, with seniors accounting for 50 percent of all those admitted for the flu.

"This is the highest hospitalization rate [for seniors] since 2003, and may be the highest ever," Siegel said.

Also, nearly 10 percent of deaths up to Feb. 9 have been attributed to the flu or pneumonia associated with the flu. Again, the elderly were hit the hardest, Skinner said.

Sixty-four children have died from flu this season. That number is precise, because the federal government keeps track of pediatric flu deaths. No such count is kept on adults. Typically, approximately 25,000 Americans die from the flu every year, according to the CDC.

Skinner said this year's flu season started early, but seems to be winding down. "But we'll see if that trend continues," he added.

More information

For more on the flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Tom Skinner, spokesman, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor, medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Feb. 22, 2013, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Young girls more likely to report side effects after HPV vaccine
3. Preteens More Likely to Report HPV Vaccine Side Effects
4. Vaccine yielded encouraging long-term survival rates in certain patients with NSCLC
5. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
6. From a Failed Vaccine, New Insights Into Fighting HIV
7. From herd immunity and complacency to group panic: How vaccine scares unfold
8. Brain Tumor Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Trial
9. Army researcher develops potential vaccine carrier
10. A physicians guide for anti-vaccine parents
11. Shingles Vaccine Safe, Underutilized, Study Says
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
 Flu Vaccine Fell Short for Seniors This Season: CDC
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... A recent Bellwether Education ... quality, the field must first improve teacher preparation program design. It then asserts ... and that decades of input- and outcome-based research has failed to improve teacher ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... Tuesday, ... asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if ... the Los Angeles World Airports will light up the evening sky by programming the ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... For many women, getting birth control isn’t as easy as it ... either don’t have access to a health care facility or a pharmacy within 60 minutes ... the United States or for many who are faced with health or personal issues that ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... NEW YORK, NEW YORK (PRWEB) , ... March ... ... their breakthrough development, NTX Technology™, is the first technology to directly address the ... World Health Organization. NTX Technology™ is a patented compound of FDA and TTB ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Greenfield Advisors ... brings his extensive knowledge of appraisals, property values, ad valorem taxation, and government ... valuation industry for more than 40 years. , “Ruel is a great addition ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... March 28, 2017 The global emerging cancer ... of 13.45% from 2016 to 2023 and reach a ... Cancer is a chronic disease and is affecting ... cancer diagnostics market. This report is focused on emerging ... market growth is propelled due to factors such as: ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... NEW YORK , March 28, 2017 "Chemotherapy Induced ... an overview of the disease and global market trends of the ... United States , Europe ( ... , Spain , UK) and ... (RoE) and rest of the world (RoW). ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... March 28, 2017  Las Vegas ophthalmology practice, Center ... Gel Stent (Allergan, Dublin ), an ... eye, thereby reducing intraocular pressure in patients with moderate ... are affected by glaucoma that can lead to progressive ... blindness, if left untreated. According to the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: