Even with mismatches flu shots can still keep you from getting sick

December 9, 2014 12:00 PM

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Even with mismatches flu shots can still keep you from getting sick

On December 3, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Alert Network advisory indicating a possible strain mismatch in this year’s vaccine. After the usual brief flurry of media attention, it is worth examining what this really means for the general public and health-care providers.

First, let’s be realistic about influenza vaccines: none are perfect when it comes to protection. Some people who receive a vaccine will still get influenza. This is because protection is not just about what’s in the vaccine – it’s also heavily dependent on the individual. For instance, vaccine bene...

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