Flu season has been quite hard on many people, particularly those over 65. And if you had the flu shot, it probably didn’t help. According to a report in the CDC’s Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report released last week, the flu vaccine was only effective in 9% of those 65 and older, a number too low to be statistically significant. The study was based on a survey of 2,697 children and adults by the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network from December 3, 2012, through January 19, 2013.
Michael Jhung, a CDC epidemiologist, says that this season’s flu hospitalization rates in those 65-plus is the highest since CDC began its current surveillance system in 2007. The reason for this very low rate of effectiveness in this particularl age group is not known, although the vaccine does become less effective as we get older.
So, with flu season still in high gear, it is critically important to stay healthy and consider other options to prevent illness, especially in those 65 and older. Read this to find out how you can prevent the flu.