Why the flu vaccine isn’t as effective as hoped

Most of the 84 children who have died this flu season were not vaccinated

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – The flu is still widespread in the U.S., and the number of deaths among children has climbed to 84. But not every parent has made the decision to get their child a flu shot.

According to the CDC, most of the 84 children who have died this flu season were not vaccinated. On Thursday, they also announced the flu shot was about 36-percent effective at preventing flu symptoms this year.

22News went to the Big Y pharmacy in East Longmeadow, where we were given fresh information about the vaccine. Pharmacist Laurie Jameson told 22News, “The CDC has said that they did pick the correct strain for the flu. However, the virus has mutated between the time they picked the strain, and the time they manufactured the vaccine.”

The CDC also reported 1 out of every 13 visits to doctors last week were for flu-like symptoms.

The State Board of Health estimates that every year in Massachusetts, 250 to 1,000 people die from flu complications.

Experts still recommend getting a flu shot if you haven’t already, and say we could see several more weeks of intense flu activity.