Dallas, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) — With flu season looming at the end and beginning of each year, people rush out to get a flu shot that will help them avoid the high fever, aches, pains and overall miserable feeling that can consume the body for about a week or two. In a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control, the 2007-2008 flu season is the worst it’s been since the 2003-2004 flu season and to make matters worse, the vaccine intended to fight was a failure.
“Each year, health officials — making essentially an educated guess — formulate a vaccine against three viruses they think will be circulating. They guess well most of the time, and the vaccine is often between 70 and 90 percent effective. But this year, two of the three strains were not good matches and the vaccine was only 44 percent effective, according to a study done in Marshfield, Wis.”
Some may wonder why a vaccine is created if the goal is not achieved–especially if the flu is becoming more and more dangerous. The CDC has a method to the creation of the vaccine by comparing the amount of deaths as a result of the flu and pneumonia in a control group of 122 cities across America. According to the CDC’s study, “this year, those deaths peaked at 9 percent of all reported deaths in early March, and remained above an epidemic threshold for 13 consecutive weeks. In 2003-2004, they peaked at more than 10 percent of all deaths, and surpassed the epidemic threshold for nine weeks.”
The death statistics get more grim as pediatric deaths are also measured to construct the proper vaccines each year. During this year’s flu season so far, sadly, 66 children have died from the flu with only 46 of those children having been vaccinated. 153 children died in the flu season of 2003-2004.
Generally with such a probable outlook, the population is sure to decide to skip the vaccine altogether. Even so, the officials from the CDC reported that despite the poor effectiveness of the vaccine this year, it still proved a 44 percent efficiency rate.
Dallas New Reporter