Are the flu shots for 2014 – 2015 effective? According to a statement recently issued by the CDC, the flu shots being given now are not as effective as the ones given last year. The reason is that this year’s predominant flu virus strain is drifted H3N2 viruses, and the vaccines prepared this year are simply not as effective against this strain.
Influenza viruses are constantly changing and evolving. Through a complicated formula, scientists attempt to determine what strains will be prevalent every year. Some years, they get it exactly right, and some years, they don’t.
While the flu vaccine shot may not work as well for the 2014/2015 influenza season, the CDC still recommends that everyone gets one. Even is it is cot effective against the drifted H3N2 strain, it can protect patients from other strains that they may come in contact with.
As a nurse, you should definitely urge your patients to get a flu shot this year. You may want to remind them that the vaccine will never be 100% effective against the flu, but that it is an important measure to lessen the likelihood of getting the flu.
Have you gotten your flu shot yet? If not, why not?
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