The Virus Has Mutated - Why Your Flu Vaccine Might Not Protect You This Year

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said current flu vaccines may not be able to contain the disease’s current strain, CNN reported on Thursday.

“We could have a season that is more severe than most with more hospitalizations and more deaths,” CDC director Tom Frieden said.

Frieden said a new version of the flu vaccine would not be ready until early next year, given that each version takes about four months to produce.

According to Reuters, seasons when H3N2 is most active are more likely to see more deaths related to the disease — particularly among older patients and younger children — and higher rates of hospitalization. Frieden said five children have died from the disease so far this year. 

However, the CDC is still advising people to get the vaccine so that they can be protected against other strains like influenza H1N1 and influenza B.

“You want to do anything you can to prevent getting it and to prevent giving it to other people,” said New York City pediatrician Lisa Thebner told CNN. “The vaccine isn’t perfect, but it’s the best protection we have for prevention.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.