UPDATE: Experts warn this year’s flu vaccine may only be 10% effective


UPDATE (4:50 p.m.): Despite the 10 percent effectiveness of this year’s flu vaccine, some local medical professionals say it’s still worth it to get the shot.

6 News spoke to Sparrow nurse practitioner Stephanie Schauer about the outlook Wednesday. She says some protection is better than none.

“It is still very important to get the flu shot, it’s still going to protect you if you were exposed to the flu,” Schauer said. “Even at 10 percent it’s still a very important thing for your health.”

The flu vaccine is essentially a strain of the virus that you get to help build up protection against it.

“What we do is inject – it’s a strain of the flu virus – but it’s a dead virus, it cant give you the flu, it cant make you sick with the flu,” Schauer said.

Health experts pick out the strain based on what they see in the southern hemisphere, specifically Australia, where the flu hits first.

In this year’s flu season there, this year’s vaccine only worked 10 percent of the time.

Pharmacist Benjamin Haskel says there’s a couple things that might’ve gone wrong to cause that.

“After the virus was selected it muated and caused a decrease in the effectiveness in the current vaccine, and the second reason is that during production the virus mutated again and caused a decrease in effectiveness,” Haskel said.

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have already been 7,000 confirmed cases of influenza in the U.S. That’s more than double the number by this time in 2016.

Even more concerning, is experts say this year’s flu shot may not be as effective as we hope.

According to CBS News, the 2017 flu shot is the same used in Australia’s most recent flu season, and it was only 10 percent effective there.

Flu vaccines are, on average, about 42 percent effective. However, experts say that number can range anywhere from 10 to 60 percent in a given year.

6 News is talking with local heath experts to see how these findings could affect the mid-Michigan area.

Stay with 6 News for updates.

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