Flu Vaccine Effective Even If It Doesn't Exactly Match Strain

Armen Hareyan's picture

Effective Flu Vacine

The study, "Vaccine Effectiveness Against Medically Attended, Laboratory-Confirmed Influenza Among Children Ages 6 to 59 Months, 2003-2004," reviewed the cases of 290 patients from an Atlanta, Georgia, pediatric practice who had laboratory-confirmed influenza infections during the 2003-2004 influenza season.

The authors found that full vaccination provided an approximate 50 percent reduction in laboratory-confirmed influenza among children aged 6 and 59 months.


This occurred despite a suboptimal match between the vaccine and circulating influenza strains for the 2003-2004 season.

Partial flu vaccination also provided some protection, but only for children aged 24-59 months.

Younger children, ages 6 to 23 months, who were only partially vaccinated, had no reduction in influenza.

The authors assert that this study confirms immunization against influenza, even in years with a suboptimal vaccine match, can reduce the impact of this disease.