Even When Flu Shots Aren’t Very Effective, They Still Save Lives
You may have heard that the 2017–2018 flu vaccine wasn’t very effective at protecting
against the flu. However, that doesn’t mean you should skip the shot this year.
Even when a flu vaccine isn’t as effective as it could be, making sure as many people
as possible get vaccinated still saves lives. That’s according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Vaccinating 43 Percent of Americans Could Save 62,000 Lives
For the study, researchers used a mathematical model to predict the impact of vaccinating
large numbers of people even when a flu vaccine isn’t very effective.
They found that if 43 percent of Americans got vaccinated with a low-efficacy vaccine,
it would still prevent about:
Flu Shot Is Especially Important for People Younger than Age 40
The flu vaccine is the number one way to protect against the flu, so it’s important
to get vaccinated each year. The vaccine changes annually depending on which viruses
scientists believe will be most common during the upcoming flu season.
While everyone ages 6 months and older should get vaccinated, the PNAS study suggests it’s especially crucial for school-age children and young adults ages
30 to 39. The flu is most likely to spread among this group. By getting the shot,
you’ll protect yourself, your family, and older adults who are at higher risk for
serious flu-related complications.