CDC: Flu shot not working well for seniors - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

CDC: Flu shot not working well for seniors

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An unusually bad flu season is now being blamed on an ineffective vaccine.

The Center for Disease Control said new numbers show the vaccine just isn't working as well as it has in the past, particularly in seniors.

The vaccine is created by doctors with the CDC who do extensive research and then they guess on what the strain will look like the next year so they can build a vaccine to fight it. Numbers show those doctors guessed wrong.

The flu shot has never been a guaranteed way to prevent the flu, but doctors said if the vaccine doesn't work right it's pretty much guaranteed to cause problems.

"If the vaccine isn't effective then what happens is, the community is at risk of getting that particular disease. In this case we've seen a lot of people with the flu," said Patricia Meadors with Piedmont Hospital.

Doctors and nurses have been extra busy at Piedmont Hospital with flu patients and sometimes the sick patients came in waves.

"It's the largest flu outbreak I've seen in my career," said Meadors.

And she said they definitely noticed one particular group coming in most.

"This year what we've seen is the elderly have been at an increase risk despite being immunized," said Meadors.

The flu season is winding down now and doctors are hoping for a better batch of vaccine next year, but they said this year's miscalculation shouldn't be a total loss.

"It helps all the researchers and drug companies that are making the vaccine. It gives a lot of information to the particular group at the CDC that does viral infection and influenza research," said Meadors.

We tried to get an interview with the CDC to find out how it was so far off on the vaccine and what it's doing to have a more successful batch next year, but they didn't make anyone available for an interview.

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