NC flu season has peaked; vaccine only works 23% of the time

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Flu shot (Stock photo)

NEW YORK — This year’s flu vaccine is only working about 23 percent of the time, according to a recent report by the Associated Press, citing a government study.

Health officials said the effectiveness of this year’s vaccine is worse than normal. Flu vaccines from the last decade were 50 to 60 percent effective at their best, according to the report.

Health officials said the poor showing is mostly because the vaccine doesn’t include the bug that is making most people sick.

The Centers for Disease Control warned in early December that the vaccine may not work well because it isn’t well-matched to a strain that’s been widely spreading.

The flu vaccine is reformulated each year, based on which of the three or four strains experts believe will be the biggest problem.

Meanwhile, health officials in North Carolina said Friday that the flu season peaked at the end of December, but still remains a big threat.

WTVD reported that the state death toll stands at 90 since the season started in October, which is considered a moderate to severe epidemic. Of the 90 deaths this flu season, 72 of them have been age 65 and older.

Last season, North Carolina reported 107 people died from flu-related symptoms.

Read more: The Associated Press, WTVD

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