CDC reports on effectiveness of 2018 flu vaccine

According to the website, the CDC is reporting low flu activity across the country in the last seven days, but that doesn't mean people here in the Triangle are flu-free.

There have been five cases at WakeMed Hospital and various Urgent Cares have seen a couple of cases as well.

The CDC conducts studies each year to see how well the vaccine protects folks from the flu. While we are still early in the season and effectiveness can vary, the CDC said recent studies find the shot reduces the risk of flu between 40 and 60 percent.

"That's still a good percentage to go off," explains Med Mart- Holly Spring Nurse Practitioner Monica Williams. "Anything greater than 50 (percent) is what we're looking for. It has proven effective over the years passed."

Health officials are especially worried this year. Influenza has hit other parts of the world hard.

Globally, the virus begins in Australia where the flu usually hits hard.

But, flu activity in the United States has remained low at least for right now.

"It looks pretty good, but who's to say a widespread flu epidemic won't come through and potentially affect us here in the United States," said Williams.

The CDC has recommended that the following high-risk people get flu shots:

  • Everyone over age 50

  • Children aged 6 months to 2 years

  • Residents of nursing homes or other long-term care facilities

  • Caregivers of high-risk people need vaccination as well

  • Women who will be more than three months pregnant during the flu season

  • Children of any age on long-term aspirin therapy

  • Anyone with chronic medical conditions such as heart or lung disorders including asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or weak immune systems
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