How effective is this year’s flu shot vaccine?


(WWLP) – The Flu season has officially begun, and it’s important to know how effective this year’s vaccine will be.

According to the state’s Department of Public Health, the flu vaccination is not a guarantee, but health officials are still recommending that you should get one.

Massachusetts had among the nation’s highest flu vaccination rates for children and adolescents last year.

Last year, 81 percent of Massachusetts children ages six months through 17 years old had a flu vaccination.

This year flu surveillance reporting began on Friday and state officials reported 82 lab-confirmed flu cases since the start of September.

Dr. Daniel Skiest at Baystate told 22News how the flu varies from year to year.

There’s different strains of the flu that cause diseases. INfluenza A and Influenza B. Some years we ahve mostly A and a little B. Last year we had two peaks we had A in the beginning and then B. The vaccine covered it fairly well about 40-50 percent.

Dr. Daniel Skiest

For the 2018-2019 US flu season, which began in October and ended in May of 2018, preliminary numbers from the CDC estimate there were nearly 42 million cases of flu, nearly 650,000 hospitalizations, and more than 60,000 flu deaths.

According to the CDC, last flu season, Massachusetts was one of 11 states with widespread flu activity.

However, not everyone is planning on getting a flu shot.

“I get the idea of it, I just haven’t gotten the flu shot. I’ve been pretty good. I haven’t gotten the flu but I’ve gotten colds but there’s no cure for that so I’m pretty satisfied with the choice I made,” Springfield resident Shawn Fontaine said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October if possible.

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