CDC: Flu vaccine only 23 percent effective

CDC: Flu vaccine only 23 percent effective

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The CDC said Thursday, that the flu vaccine is only 23 percent effective and will protect less than one in four people.

The CDC says the flu vaccine has only been 12 percent effective in people ages 18 to 49, and only 14 percent effective for people age 50 and over. They say it's only 26 percent effective in those six months old through 17.

Victoria Clark says she's upset because her two kids received the flu shot, but wasn't as effective as years past.

"In the past years they didn't get sick or anything like that, but this year they did, get the flu," said Clark. "If it's not working then what's the purpose of getting the shot?"

Dr. Michele Neal says she's seen a 30 to 40 percent increase in patients this year with the flu.

"I'm seeing a half dozen patients a day during those weeks I was with the flu. And so are all of my partners," noted Neal.

Neal says the best way to avoid catching the flu is to wash your hands and avoid crowded areas.

"I advise people to vaccinate so they can not only protect themselves, but also protect the rest of the community as well," added Neal.

While the Mississippi Department of Health does not keep track of flu cases or deaths in adults, the state hasn't seen in pediatric deaths. Meanwhile, 18 people have died in the state of Arkansas during flu season due to the flu virus. Among those, 12 people were over the age of 65.

At last check, records show four people died in Tennessee because of the flu in 2014.

In December, the CDC sent advisories to physicians, informing them that this season's flu shot was essentially ineffective. It reportedly was an incompatible match for the influenza A strain.

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