At least 10 people under the age of 65 have died from the flu this season in California, a higher than normal number. The San Francisco Chronicle reported this year’s flu vaccine may not be as effective.“The higher-than-usual number of fatalities — plus other reports of increased influenza activity — does not necessarily mean this flu season will be worse, experts said. It’s possible the season is starting ahead of schedule, but otherwise will be normal,” the Chronicle reported. “What has some experts concerned, though, are reports that this year’s flu vaccine is not offering good protection against the strain that’s circulating most widely: Type A, subtype H3N2.”
The A(H3N2) virus dominated in Australia and the preliminary estimate of vaccine effectiveness against the strain was only 10 percent, the New England Journal of Medicine said earlier this year.
“The implications for the Northern Hemisphere are not clear, but it is of note that the vaccine for this upcoming season has the same composition as that used in the Southern Hemisphere,” the New England Journal of Medicine wrote.
The number of deaths recorded by the state government does not include those older the age of 65, which is not required to be reported.