Posted on January 21, 2015 in: Professional Practice
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released early estimates of the influenza vaccine effectiveness for the 2014-2015 season in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Early estimates indicate that the seasonal influenza vaccine was just 23 percent effective. The interim estimate, which is relatively low when compared with previous seasons, likely reflects the fact that more than two-thirds of the circulating A(H3N2) viruses are antigenically drifted from the A(H3N2) vaccine component of 2014-2015 Northern Hemisphere seasonal flu vaccines.
The CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination, noting that the vaccine can prevent some infections with the currently circulating A(H3N2) viruses and other viruses that may circulate later in the flu season. In addition, the organization recommends antiviral medications, noting that all hospitalized patients and outpatients at high-risk for serious complications from the flu should be given neuraminidase inhibitors as soon as possible if influenza is suspected, without waiting for confirmatory influenza lab testing.
For additional details, please see the CDC Web site.