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:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that ... chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent ... special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, ... and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their ... to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils ... an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic ... 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... publication Haute Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a ... that “the most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data ... analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the ... analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , ... Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  Guerbet announced today that it has been named ... . One of 12 suppliers to receive ... support of Premier members through exceptional local customer service ... to lower costs. ... outstanding customer service from Premier," says Massimo Carrara ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: