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Flu vaccine may not be as effective for this year’s strain

EUREKA- Humboldt County’s Department of Health and Human Services has given out more than 1,000 flu shots this year. But those vaccines may not be as effective as originally thought.

This week the CDC issued a health advisory warning that recent flu sampling shows one strain of the flu has mutated. According to the agency, 50 percent of the H3N2 strains tested have mutated, meaning the current vaccine cannot fully combat the virus.

Flu activity has been low so far in the area, but nationally the H3N2 is appearing to be the most common strain this year. Local health experts say that although the vaccine is less protective, it can still help reduce severe complications.

“The vaccine is really the primary way to protect yourself against the flu and we definitely recommend getting the vaccine this year,” DHHS Public Health Nurse Hava Phillips said. “It's now if you haven't gotten it yet it's a fantastic time to get the vaccine, to give it a chance to build up you immunity before you travel for the holidays and spend time around some of those very old or very young relatives that might be more vulnerable to the flu.”