NIAID Director: 2019-2020 Flu Shot “Not a Very Good Match” for Most-Common Strain

As the 2019-2020 flu season rolls on, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has issued a warning that this year’s flu vaccine has shown limited effectiveness in fighting one of the most-common strains of the flu virus. According to CNN, NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that this year’s flu shot, “[is] not a very good match for B/Victoria,” which has become one of the most-prevalent strains this flu season. CNN also reports that, “[c]hildren are particularly susceptible to influenza B/Victoria.”

Health Authorities Still Recommend Flu Vaccination for Most Children and Adults

However, NIAID, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health authorities are still encouraging parents to get themselves and their children vaccinated. As reported by CNN, CDC data indicate that this year’s flu shot:

“[Is] a 58% match for B/Victoria . . . . That means if your child is exposed to B/Victoria, there’s a 58% chance that their flu shot will be well matched to protect against it.

“There’s a 42% chance that the vaccine won’t be well-matched for B/Victoria, so the shot won’t do a great job of keeping them from getting the flu. But it could help protect them from getting so sick that they develop life-threatening complications.”

Additionally, while the flu shot may only be moderately effective in preventing infection with the B/Victoria strain, it is reportedly “a really good match” for the H1N1 strain, which has also been prevalent during the 2019-2020 flu season.

Tracking the Flu Shot’s Effectiveness During the 2019-2020 Flu Season

During flu season, the CDC publishes a weekly “U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report,” called FluView. As of mid-January 2020, the CDC reports:

“Key indicators that track flu activity remain high and, after falling during the first two weeks of the year, increased slightly this week. Indicators that track severity (hospitalizations and deaths) are not high at this point in the season.”

However, the January 18, 2020 edition of FluView also indicates that, “[v]isits to health care providers for influenza-like illness (ILI) increased from 4.7% last week to 5.0% this week. All regions remain above their baselines.” In other words, while the severity of influenza infections is not particularly high, the number of patients seeking treatment for ILI is above normal.

Understanding the Risk of Flu Shot Injuries

When getting immunized against influenza, it is important to be aware of the risk of flu-shot related injuries and illnesses. While rare, shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA), Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and other conditions linked to the flu shot can have potentially-serious complications. For more information, you can read: Can You Suffer an Injury Following the Flu Vaccine?

Contact National Vaccine Injury Lawyer Leah V. Durant

Vaccine injury lawyer Leah V. Durant represents clients who have been diagnosed with SIRVA, GBS, and other flu shot injuries and illnesses nationwide. If you or your child has been diagnosed, you can call 202-800-1711 or contact our firm online for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.