New study shows the flu vaccine is less effective than previous - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

New study shows the flu vaccine is less effective than previous years

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According to the CDC the flu is moving quicker this year.

Four states are already in the "widespread" category: Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia and Massachusetts. Those states have all moved into that category in the last week of November.

This time last year there were no states in the widespread category.

Ohio moved into the local activity category four weeks ago, which was a week earlier than last year, but  Michigan is still listed as "sporadic."

Knowing that the flu is on the rise in some parts of the country, what is the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department seeing here locally? 

The health commissioner said Lucas County has had four hospitalized cases of the flu so far this year, but that it's too early to say with certainty what that means. 

They haven’t had a rush on vaccines, but are on pace to give out the same amount of vaccines as normal.

But could it be a waste of your time?

A new study by the New England Journal of Medicine shows this year’s flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective against  the most dominant influenza strain, H3N2.

For some that doesn't seem worth it.

"If it's only 10% effective why would you get a flu shot," asked Oni King.

The vaccine itself is an educated guess at which strain will impact us here based off the southern hemisphere's flu season. This year, experts believe the strain has changed making the vaccine much less effective according to the university hospitals, but say it's also early in the season yet. 

Toledo Lucas County Health Department's commissioner said you should talk to your doctor about the vaccine and if it would be right for you, but his whole family has been vaccinated.

"The idea here is get vaccinated because even if it doesn't hit it straight on you still should have or could have some immunity and that could help you not be as sick," said Eric Zgodzinski, health commissioner for Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. 

Some who've had flu shots in the past said it was ineffective for them.

"I actually immediately got sick afterwards like horribly sick and I never got one afterwards," said Channel King, a Toledo resident.

"I was the one that thought you need to get all kinds of flu shots or shots, but I'm good why would I get it," said Oni King, another Toledo resident. 

They said although they don't get the shot, they do take other precautions to avoid sickness.

"I constantly clean my house," explained Channel King. "I try to stay away from people who is sick in general period and we use hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer."

WTOL 11 did speak with one woman outside of the health department Monday who did not want to go on camera, but said regardless of the effectiveness of the vaccine, she will continue to get it because it far outweighs being hospitalized or dead from the flu. 

The health department said they will continue providing flu shots for those who want them and will keep an eye on the virus and its impact here in the Glass City. 

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