This Year's Flu Shot Isn't Protecting Seniors

It helps in just 9% of cases, says CDC

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 21, 2013 6:18 PM CST

(Newser) – Senior citizens who got the flu shot this year needn't have bothered, reports USA Today. For those ages 65 and older, this year's vaccine helped in just 9% of cases against the predominant strain, a percentage deemed to be statistically insignificant by the CDC. Factoring in all ages, the vaccine helped in 56% of cases, which is on the low side historically, reports Reuters.

"We simply need a better vaccine against influenza, one that works better and lasts longer," says CDC chief Thomas Frieden. Vaccines are generally less effective in older people, but that's not enough to explain the poor showing among seniors, whose hospitalization rates for the flu this year have been especially high, reports AP.

A senior gets a flu shot in Brooklyn last month.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
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