CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – This year’s flu vaccine is missing one critical strain of the flu virus that’s been going around, but it does include other strains, so it still protects some people from the virus.
47 states, including Massachusetts, now report widespread flu infections; and even more concerning, a CDC study found that this year’s flu vaccine is only 23% effective, leading some people to find preventive measures on their own.
Steve Nicoll of Ludlow said, “Well, I had the flu last year, so I was going to get it this year, but then I saw an article. Yeah, I try to eat right, wash my hands a lot and Vitamin C, that’s my secret.”
“I remain healthy by eating well, doing exercises, staying warm, dress warm, you know. I haven’t gotten the flu and so far and so good,” said Alex Bakalitz of Springfield.
Even before the study, doctors knew that this year’s flu vaccine wouldn’t be as effective, but they still recommend that you get a flu shot. The vaccine contains other strains of the flu virus that are making people sick, and the CDC says the flu shot will not give you the flu.
Flu shots have “inactive” viruses, so they are not infectious. You may experience common side effects of a low-grade fever or muscle aches.
The nasal spray contains a “weakened” virus. They cause mild side effects like runny nose and congestion, but they do not infect your lungs.
The best flu vaccines in the last 10 years were more than twice as effective as this year’s, working 50% to 60% of the time.