• Flu vaccination can be only 10-percent effective, study says

    By: Tony Atkins

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A study by the New England Journal of Medicine says the vaccine could only be 10-percent effective this flu season.

    University of Memphis doctor Xinhua Yu believes only time will tell when it comes to how bad this flu season will be in Memphis this year. 

    “We’re only two months into the season so we don’t know what’s ahead of us,” Yu said. 

    Those numbers are, based off comparisons from Australia, which is wrapping up its flu season. 


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    Yu said those numbers should be taken with a grain of salt.

    “They’re not exact,” Yu said. “Some of the data from Australia will give us some reference but not exactly match.” 

    According to CDC numbers, vaccine effectiveness usually ranges from around 40 to 60-percent, but they do occasionally dip in certain seasons when the vaccine created doesn't match well with the type of flu circulating. 

    This year, the ever-changing H3N2 virus may have become adapted to this year's vaccine. 

    “Remember, the vaccine is made 6 to 8 months before the season. So we take a great chance at guessing what will happen next year,” Yu said.

    This isn't the first time a vaccines effectiveness rate has taken a dive.

    Between 2014-2015, it dipped to 19-percent. 

    Despite the numbers, Yu says it's always best to take the shot just in case. 

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