Badly Matched Flu Shots Mean A Bad Flu Season on COVID Wave

Feb, 2022 - By SMI

Badly Matched Flu Shots Mean A Bad Flu Season on COVID Wave

A research found that current flu vaccine is not suitable for the main influenza currently circulating.

New research suggests the current flu vaccine appears to be a bad match for the existing strain of the influenza season. Leading experts warn that there could be a bad flu season in the United States, which is already preparing for another catastrophic increase in COVID cases. Before every flu season, scientists should predict the common type that will hit the flu season and design a vaccine accordingly.

Four different types are included in current flu shot. In a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, according to microbiology professor Scott Hensley, the version of the H3N2 strain of influenza is a bad match for a version called 2a2, which is available in the U.S. in widespread circulation. According to Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) until now this season, the H3N2 type has been at least 99% of all flu cases in the U.S., But the agency does not describe how many of these cases are caused by version 2a2 of the type.

Prof. Hensley further said, the existence of version 2a2 means that the vaccine cannot even protect against infection, since it is not the version included in the vaccine. Flu shots are never a perfect match for influenza viruses that finish up in a wide range of circulations, even though the vaccine still reduces a person's risk of contracting a severe disease from the flu. Still, the discrepancy that Prof. Hensley has seen so far is shocking. Previously it was significantly inconsistent was throughout the 2014-15 flu season. However, the vaccine stopped about 40,000 hospitalizations that season and about 4,000 deaths from the flu, the CDCP estimates.

Health officials are already watching the flu outbreak. According to CDCP in November it was exploring an influenza upsurge at the University of Michigan, about 528 students have tested positive over there for the flu since October 6. However, with the increase in the Omicron variant, there is still the possibility of a normal flu season in the US this year. This is due to the alarm on the variant that can cause a lot of people to go back to social distance and wear a mask.

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