Flu Vaccine Barely Effective For Seniors, CDC Numbers Reveal

Thursday, February 21st 2013, 10:01 pm
By: News 9

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) Thursday released startling numbers related to flu shots and the elderly. 

The CDC says overall in the last few months, getting a flu shot has been effective 56 percent of the time in staving off the flu for our population as a whole, but that same study says for those 65 and older, the flu shot has been successful only 9 percent of the time. 

2/2/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma EMSA Sees Spike In Call Volume Due To Flu

State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley says one thing that could help seniors is this year a much stronger flu shot is being made available to people 65 and older. 

Oklahoma Department of Health flu information.

"This is a vaccine that has four-times the potency of traditional flu shots," she said. "We know a lot of times people who are vaccinated, even if they get the flu, they tend to have a shorter course of the illness, and they are much less likely to be hospitalized." 

Since September of last year, 946 people have been hospitalized, and there have been 26 deaths from the flu in Oklahoma.

1/24/2013 Related Story: Flu-Related Deaths In Oklahoma Nearly Double In One Week