The country’s foremost health and disease agency stopped short of saying that flu shots are not guaranteed to protect you from the influenza virus.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Tom Frieden told the audience of a recent influenza press conference September 18 that the flu shot is still the best protection. “Vaccination is the single most important step everyone 6 months of age and older can take to protect themselves and their families against influenza,” Frieden said in a gathering with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
The flu vaccine has become the first line of defense against the flu virus, but CDC said that the doses carried only 61 percent effectiveness. This figure was supported by University of Michigan School of Public Health professor Dr. Arnold Monto. “The vaccine is, on average, around 40, 50 percent effective — in some situations, 60 to 70 percent effective,” Monto mentioned in a Yahoo! news article.
While getting a flu shot is still a good way to protect your body against the disease-causing virus strain, preventive measures must also be taken to increase the effectiveness of the vaccine. Medical experts suggest getting the vaccine as soon as possible, and not waiting for the flu season to arrive. When the vaccine enters the body, creation of antibodies to fight the flu may take up to two weeks.
Apart from the flu vaccine, doctors also advise the public to get lots of sleep and avoid too much stress. Failure to do so may weaken the body’s immunity to the flu virus.