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10TV: Aussie flu and flu shot effectiveness

A report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the number of flu cases confirmed this year are double the amount from last year. Experts also say that the flu vaccine is about 10 percent effective this year. However, according to Glenn Williams, MD, medical director of OhioHealth Urgent Care, you should still get the vaccine.

“It doesn’t mean that when you get that vaccine it won’t work at all. It does help reduce the symptoms,” Williams told 10TV reporter Tracy Townsend.

Williams says the vaccine not only reduces complications, but it also reduces the risk of mortality from influenza. And reducing complications is the overall goal of the shot. A shot with some protection is better than none at all.

Everyone who is six months or older should have already received the flu shot by the end of October, but flu season lasts all the way through March, so it is still a good idea to get the vaccine if you haven’t yet.

“Get it now because within two weeks it will show some advocacy in your body,” Williams told Townsend.

The effectiveness of the flu vaccine is usually estimated around 50 to 60 percent. This year’s 10 percent success rate is based on influenza A or H3N2. Otherwise known as the “Aussie flu”, this strain is tricky because it can often mutate and change.

The formulation of the flu vaccine is determined by World Health Organization scientists. And the CDC does not recommend the nasal spray version. If your children have trouble with shots, try distracting them. It can reduce the pain by 50 percent. You can also try a cooling spray or a sugar-water mixture.

As of December 7, 165 cases of the flu have been confirmed in Ohio in less than half the state’s 88 counties.

You can get the flu vaccine at any of the OhioHealth Urgent Care locations, or from your primary care physician.

To find an OhioHealth Urgent Care location, click here. To find an OhioHealth primary care physician, click here.