COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - This flu season there have been more than 7,000 cases in the U.S. so far that's more than double the number this time last year. KRDO NewsChannel 13's Cinthia Maldonado joins us in the studio with what doctors are saying about this year's flu shot.
Doctors I talked to today told me this year's flu shot is effective only about 10% and that rate all depends on the different viruses scientists put in the vaccine. If the vaccine isn't a close match to the strain of the virus, that's currently circulating, it won't be as effective.
According to the Colorado Flu Report as of December 2nd statewide 438 people have been hospitalized with the flu and in El Paso county 45. In past years, the vaccine is usually effective about 40 to 60 percent. This year's flu vaccine may not be as effective at protecting people against one of the most common nasty strains of the flu but doctors we spoke to say the flu shot isn't something you should avoid getting.
Doctor Jodie Mesa a primary care provider at UCHealth North Springs Family Medicine in Colorado Springs says the vaccine always helps no matter how effective it is each year, “This year it looks like it's not quit as effective but it’s still a really good idea to get the flu shot because you still have a better chance of avoiding the flu or having a shorten course or lighter course of the flu if you get the vaccination and also when you're getting them every year you do get a bit of immunity built up over time as well."
Doctor Steven Wenrich at QwikCareMD adds, “It's very safe it doesn't cause the flu and even if it's not the exact same flu shot for this year it does help with your symptoms.”
With that being said experts say washing your hands is the best way to avoid the flu. Those most vulnerable are older adults and very young children.