For both these reasons, some years there is a better match than other years with the flu viruses that end up circulating during the flu season.
Last year, one of the virus strains included in the vaccine (the H3N2) did mutate after the vaccine was made, which resulted in a reduction in the vaccine’s ability to protect against that specific virus. It is important to remember, however, is that the flu vaccine still provided “some” protection from the H3N2 virus and a much higher protection against the other 2-3 flu viruses included in the same vaccine.
It is thus, always still recommended that people get vaccinated yearly against the flu, especially those at high risk of serious illness/complications (the elderly, young children, the chronically ill and those with weakened immune systems). Valid science clearly shows the importance of healthy people protecting those around them who are less healthy.
Vaccination in addition to other preventive measures such as frequent hand washing and staying home when ill are all important in reducing a person’s risk of getting the flu or spreading it to others.
If you want to find out more about Flu - why not check out our 18 Years, 18 Reasons feature on common Flu questions?
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