The Centers for Disease Control yesterday reported that the flu vaccine that has been used this year has been 56 percent effective, which it considers “moderately successful.” The statistics are based on studies of 2,700 cases involving children and adults at five sites across the U.S., including Pittsburgh.
Senior citizens have been especially hard hit…the effectiveness of the vaccine for adults 65 years of age and older has been only 27 percent, and only nine percent when combating Influenza A, one of the three strains of flu targeted this year.
The latest numbers show that there have been 34,090 confirmed cases of flu across Pennsylvania this year, 325 of them in Indiana County. The actual number of cases is probably much more, since many more people with flu-like symptoms do not seek treatment or do not get lab-tested.
Health officials point out that the flu epidemic would have been much worse this year without the vaccine, with many more cases and a much longer recovery time for patients who do come down with the flu.