CDC reports low flu vaccine effectiveness for this year, does this make them untrustworthy?

Jonathan Serrie of FOX news reports on recent findings from the CDC indicating this year’s flu shot hasn’t been very effective so far. So should we find fault with the CDC for this? Not really.

The flu virus comes in many varieties, or “strains”, and every year scientists at the CDC have to make an educated guess as to which specific strains are the most likely to be spread in the coming year so they can deliver the appropriate vaccines to the public. It’s kind of like making sure you’re not bringing a knife to what turns out to be a gun fight. This year they went with vaccinations against strain H3N2, which did turn out to be this year’s most common strain. The problem with their vaccine however is that there has been some “genetic drift” within this strain of virus, meaning that some alteration in its DNA is causing the vaccine to not work properly against this strain anymore.

So should you still bother getting the flu shot this year? Definitely! Even if it doesn’t prevent infection, it will surely lessen the severity of your illness. Not to mention the vaccine is designed to work against two other strains as well, which usually start to spread later on in the flu season.

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