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"We're offering free flu shots because confirmed cases of the virus continue to be a significant health threat throughout Pennsylvania".

To emphasize this point, both Adams and Secretary Azar said their own children had been vaccinated against the flu. This does not mean that it kept 36 percent of the people who got it from getting sick at all.

Mid-South emergency rooms are seeing an increase in the number of visits. By comparison, only 31 states/jurisdictions experienced high illness in a single week during the two previous seasons known to be severe: the 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons. When well matched to circulating viruses, its effectiveness is about 60 percent.

However, this potential flu killer wouldn't be available at US stores until at earliest 2019.

The CDC also stated that the H3N2 virus tends to cause more suffering than other strains. It also did a better job of protecting younger people. Marshfield is one of five US sites measuring flu vaccine effectiveness.

Children's vulnerability is of special concern this season.

The 2017-2018 flu season has been particularly brutal so far.

During the sixth week of the flu season, 22 flu-associated pediatric deaths were reported to the CDC. On Prince Edward Island, there have been 163 reported cases of the flu and three deaths.

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Washington state officials say that the flu is expected to be highly active for several weeks to come and it's not too late to get vaccinated.

The flu virus can also live for a short time on things you touch, such as door knobs, telephones, and toys. "Getting the flu shot is the same kind of sensible precaution as buckling your seat belt. It'll be a few more weeks or months until flu season recedes for this year".

"It's mostly to protect my granddaughter, who has a low immune system", Woolf said. According to the CDC's website, up to 166 million flu vaccines were produced this year. Early detection could save your child's life.

Recent research suggests that the traditional production process may make flu vaccines less effective, especially for H3N2.

"This flu season continues to be extremely challenging and intense", said Schuchat.

While older individuals and parents of young children are often more sensitive to their risk from the flu, younger, healthier people may be prone to underestimating the severity of their infection.

"The vaccines that we have today are not the ones that we'd like to have in 10 years", she said. One is grown in dog kidney cells, and the other is a synthetic virus grown in insect cells.

"Any type of vaccine is better than none", said Scott Hensley, a University of Pennsylvania microbiologist who has led studies that raised critical questions about the vaccine. Gottlieb said scientists at the FDA, CDC and National Institutes of Health are trying to understand why. It protected 42 percent of people against influenza B. But experts say the effort is likely to take many more years.