This Year's Flu Shot Isn't Protecting Seniors

It helps in just 9% of cases, says CDC
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2013 6:18 PM CST
This Year's Flu Shot Isn't Protecting Seniors
A senior gets a flu shot in Brooklyn last month.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Senior citizens who got the flu shot this year needn't have bothered, reports USA Today. For those ages 65 and older, this year's vaccine helped in just 9% of cases against the predominant strain, a percentage deemed to be statistically insignificant by the CDC. Factoring in all ages, the vaccine helped in 56% of cases, which is on the low side historically, reports Reuters.

"We simply need a better vaccine against influenza, one that works better and lasts longer," says CDC chief Thomas Frieden. Vaccines are generally less effective in older people, but that's not enough to explain the poor showing among seniors, whose hospitalization rates for the flu this year have been especially high, reports AP. (More flu shot stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.