Augusta, GA (WJBF) – The flu is currently widespread in four states, one of those being Georgia. Doctors are reporting that this year’s flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective but they also say this number is better than zero and they still suggest it.
Healthcare providers are saying this flu season could be rough one. According to the centers for disease control and prevention, more than 7-thousand cases of the flu have been confirmed– which is double compared to the numbers from last year.
“The very young and the very old could potentially die from getting the flu,” said Dr. Hetal Thakore, Medical Director, Doctors Hospital.
We’re in the middle of flu season and on average in Georgia flu vaccines have been about 42 percent effective. But recently those number have dropped to 10 percent this year round due to the season of another country.
“This is based on the fact that it’s the same vaccine essentially that’s used in Australia and Australia’s flu season is kind of it’s at a different time of the year than ours and so what happens there are often times emulated over here,” said Dr. Hetal Thakore, Medical Director, Doctors Hospital.
Australia is 1 of 5 world health organization location, specifically the infectious diseases reference laboratory representative from each country then make recommendation on the composition if the influenza vaccine, which happens every February.
“You gotta remember that the virus mutates and changes and so the few months it takes to develop a flu vaccine by the time that occurs that particular virus may have already morphed and modified into something a little bit different where the virus vaccine won’t take effect,” said Dr. Hetal Thakore, Medical Director, Doctors Hospital.
Doctors say there has been cases of the effective percent rate drop in past years but they still recommend getting the shot.
“One, 10% is still better than none and also when it’s less effective you almost really do need to get it because now we really need to make sure that as many people that we can are resistant to the virus,” said Dr. Hetal Thakore, Medical Director, Doctors Hospital.
“And make sure you do cover your mouth when you cough and just keeping your children away from sick is some of the big tips to prevent getting the flu this season,” said Jason Herman, RN at Doctors Hospital.
The main things doctors want you to understand is that when you have the flu, stay home! Putting others at risk can be dangerous and you could also give the flu back to yourself if you’re continuing to work.