Doctor weighs in on effectiveness of this year's flu shot
There is new information on the effectiveness of the flu shot this year, but doctors say despite what you may have heard from recent reports they still urge you to get the shot.
As flu season is winding down in the southern hemisphere, the New England Journal of Medicine says it was 10 percent effective for those who got the flu vaccine in Australia.
"Yes, this year's flu vaccine doesn't include the specific strain they were seeing in Australia so Australia had a particularly severe outbreak, because they didn't have a correct combination of the flu vaccine," said Dr. Danielle Wooldrik from CHI Good Samaritan Hospital.
Wooldrik said there is no need to worry if you already got the flu shot. But for those still wondering if you should get it, Wooldrik says yes.
"And you'll see reports this time around that the flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective for that particular strain, but it's 75 to 80 percent effective for the other strains," Wooldrik said.
She said this year local health officials have already given hundreds of flu vaccines since the start of the season, but she said as of now she has not seen any major issues with the effectiveness of the shot.
"If you don't get your vaccine and you get the influenza virus, you may end up at the hospital with pneumonia and things like that versus a few uncomfortable days at home," Wooldrik said.
Although we're seeing how the flu is impacting those on the other side of the world, Wooldrik said you can never be 100 percent sure of how it will turn out here.
“So Australia uses the same vaccine we use here, so we kind of get an idea of how well it's going to work since they have flu season before we do, so we know this season could be potentially more severe because the flu vaccine isn't 100 percent accurate for what's out there, but it's still going to be very effective for what's its purpose," Wooldrik said.
Wooldrik said it's particularly important for older people and children to get vaccinated.
Flu season goes up until March, and she said it's still not too late for you to get your vaccine.