Flu vaccines are like shooting arrows in the dark. If the vaccine is bang on a particular strain, the success rate of the vaccine is high. However this year round the vaccine is way off the mark and the result is the vaccine is not helping much to prevent a person from getting flu. This is in sharp contrast to past years when the effectiveness of the flu vaccine was 50 to 60%.
Less effective vaccine means more people will be getting sick this year and those who get sick will be show more serious symptoms. Hence the CDC has already issued advisories asking doctors and health care providers to give anti virals to all patients who are hospitalized with flu.
This year’s flu vaccine is a poor match for the virus which is infecting most persons this year, hence the recommendation by the CDC to aggressively use antiviral. However this is not easy keeping in mind the fact that a lab test which can take at least 24 hours.
Dr. David Busch, chief of the infectious diseases division in the Department of Medicine at California Pacific Medical Center said, “But the person who all of a sudden got severe aches and high fever and some respiratory complaints all at once — everything sounds like the flu? That’s the person we encourage to treat right away.”