This year’s flu vaccine less effective than previously thought

Experts from the United States Center for Disease Control has unveiled that the flu vaccine for this year is less effective than being predicted before. The vaccine has been found to be just 18% effective against the H3N2 dominant strain.

In the case of children aged between two and eight, the protection level of the injection form of the vaccine was found to be just 15%. Injection form is better as sometimes, the nasal spray may not turn out to be effective at all.

It is a matter of concern for experts and health officials, who think that low protection level is because the viruses are mutated and appear to be different than being covered by the vaccine. The choice of strains to be included in the vaccine is made many months before, so that manufacturers get sufficient amount of time to make sufficient amount of vaccines.

It has been found that the flu strain H3N2 that has been circulating was not factored into this season’s vaccine as the decision was already taken in February 2014. But experts affirmed that the new strain of H3N2 was seen for the first time in March 2014 and has become dominant one in September 2014. By that time, it had become too late to be included in the new vaccine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided its recommendation on which strains to make the vaccine for next year. Next week, the FDA will decide on the flu vaccine for next year.