Doctors say flu vaccine may be less effective this year

By: Kaitlyn Chana , Action News Jax

Updated:

Doctors are seeing a spike in flu activity across Florida and the biggest increase is among pregnant women and adults.

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization or death.

Doctors are urging people to get flu shots.

“It definitely protects you from the worst types of complications from the flu,” Dr. Shalaka Ghate said. 

Ghate said the vaccine is like a defensive shield that works to protect you against various strains.  

“They try to have a prediction of which strains are going to be dominant in the season,” he said.

Ghate said officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are worried that there are some strains not included in the vaccine for this flu season. 

“They may not be able to restart a new vaccine strain in time because we are already in the flu season,” Ghate said.

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. 

These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.

Doctors say the flu vaccine may not be as effective this year but you should still get a shot -- the sooner the better. 

Physicians say the more people who get vaccinated against the flu, the less the flu can spread through that community.

“The more protected you are in time and you’re not falling sick and getting to the hospital or getting more complications,” Ghate said.

The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine every season.

Next Up: