There’s a mismatch in the flu shot — and it’s not good news for children

(CNN) This year’s flu vaccine is “not a very good match”for a common strain of the flu that’s especially tough on children, according to the nation’s top infectious disease doctor.

 

“It’s not a very good match for B/Victoria,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, referring to the strain. “It’s not an awful match, but it’s not a very good match.”
Children are particularly susceptible to influenza B/Victoria.
Fauci said even though the match for B/Victoria isn’t great, a flu shot can still save your child’s life.
That’s because the vaccine is a 58% match for B/Victoria, according to CDC data released last week. That means if your child is exposed to B/Victoria, there’s a 58% chance that their flu shot will be well matched to protect against it.
There’s a 42% chance that the vaccine won’t be well-matched for B/Victoria, so the shot won’t do a great job of keeping them from getting the flu. But it could help protect them from getting so sick that they develop life-threatening complications, Fauci said.
In addition, the shot will likely prevent infection with the other major strain of the flu that’s out there right now. The vaccine is a “a really good match” for that strain, called H1N1.

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