“The effectiveness of the vaccine needs to be improved,” says Dr. Fred Lopez at L.S.U Health Sciences Center who cites this season`s up-to-date flu calculations released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “This year`s flu vaccine has not been nearly as effective as we would have liked in older adults.”
The CDC reports flu vaccines available now prevent the elderly from getting sick only nine percent’ of the time, compared to fifty six percent effectiveness for the general population, “The immune response of the body, the older one gets the less antibodies one can produce against the flu vaccine,” says Dr. Lopez.
The CDC reports this year as the most active flu season in more than a decade.
“The other thing to remember, it`s only mid-season data. All of this data will be updated later. In Louisiana we`re seeing less cases right now than we were a month ago but we`re still seeing cases.” says Lopez.
With about two and a half months to go until flu season ends Lopez urges anyone, young or old, to still get a flu vaccine, “It`s possible that the flu vaccine will still make the complications of the illness less severe.”