Federal study: Flu vaccine not too hot - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Federal study: Flu vaccine not too hot

January 16, 2004

 (Atlanta-AP) -- A federal study says this season's flu vaccine is not very effective in preventing flu-like illnesses -- from the common cold to strep throat.

Colorado hospital workers who got flu shots were asked whether they developed flu-like symptoms -- a fever plus a cough or a sore throat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says preliminary data shows the flu shot had little or no effect against those flu-like illnesses. The study was released yesterday.

The data did not surprise CDC officials. They expected this season's flu shot to only be about 30 percent effective in preventing flu-like illnesses. Doctor Ed Thompson is the CDC's chief deputy director for public health science. He noted that the vaccine is not given to prevent influenza-like illness, but it's given to prevent the flu.

Thompson says the study did not say how effective this year's flu vaccine was against flu virus strains. Other tests are being conducted to determine that. The CDC study was one of several commissioned after a severe flu season emerged late last year.

On the Net: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

posted at 11:20AM by dave.miller@walb.com