The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today that the latest flu vaccine has been effective in preventing this year's viruses and cutting outpatient visits in half.
For this mid-year assessment of the vaccine, researchers reviewed information from more than 3,100 children and adults from Nov. 28 through Feb. 4 and found the vaccine to be 48 percent effective overall. The University of Michigan School of Public Health is one of five sites that gathers data for the CDC's Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network.
Most of this year's cases were Influenza A, H3N2, and the vaccine proved 43 percent effective against this strain. The vaccine was even more successful against the less prevalent Influenza B at 73 percent.
The success rate this year is fairly consistent with last flu season but up dramatically from 2014-15, when it was only 19 percent effective.
Two U-M researchers were co-authors of the study that reported the outcome. They are available for comment.
Arnold Monto, the Thomas Francis Jr. Collegiate Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, is an internationally known expert on the transmission, prevention, mitigation and social response to outbreaks and pandemic planning. This includes transmission modes. He leads the program to collect influenza data for the CDC.
Emily Toth Martin, assistant professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, is an infectious disease epidemiologist with a focus on virus epidemiology and the use of vaccines and therapies to prevent and treat infection. Her research includes optimizing the use of diagnostics for viral diseases.