Last week, the CDC reported that about 10 percent of hospitalizations in the United States are due to the flu, making this a particularly nasty season.
Also encouraging is news that the H3N2 strain of flu is becoming somewhat less common, relative to the other strains that are more easily quelled by the vaccine.
Scott Hensley, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania who studies flu vaccines, said this year's vaccine is about as effective against H3N2 as last year's was, but it's still valuable to get the shot. According to the CDC's website, up to 166 million flu vaccines were produced this year.
Visit KnockOutFlu.org for places to get your vaccine, weekly flu activity updates, and frequently asked questions and concerns about the flu vaccine.
"Three out of four children who died of flu had not gotten the flu vaccine", Schuchat said. That may not seem like many people, but not enough flu vaccines were produced for every single American to be vaccinated.More news: Congress stumbles into government shutdown, budget deal stalled
Effectiveness was rated at 67 percent for H1N1 and 42 percent for influenza B strains.
For Thursday's report, they looked at the cases of 4,562 kids and adults who showed up with flu-like illness at the five sites. In the 2016-17 flu season, 64 Albertans died of influenza. It worked best for young children, aged 6 months to 8 years, where it was 59 percent effective. The U.S. rate was "similar" to the final vaccine efficacy numbers for the 2016-2017 season for this strain, the researchers said.
"It points out that we have an H3N2 vaccine problem more than we have a flu vaccine problem".
Reports from the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) indicate 3,440 flu-associated hospitalizations, and 153 deaths statewide since the season began in September. "Go get a flu shot", Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. "Almost all of our other vaccines are made by much more modern methods", said Morse, who was not involved with the CDC study. "Flu season runs through May, so it is important to have protection as soon as possible".
However, if you have flu-like symptoms and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or anxious about your illness, contact your health care provider.