A Red Deer resident holds his son while he gets an influenza vaccine. (Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate staff)

This year’s flu vaccine is way more effective than last year

BC Centre for Disease Control says analysis shows shot has 91 per cent efficacy against H1N1 in kids

The 2018/2019 flu vaccine has been significantly more effective than last year, says a network headquartered at the BC Centre for Disease Control.

According to mid-season analysis performed by the Canadian Sentinel Practitioner Surveillance Network, this year’s vaccine has been 91 per cent effective against H1N1 influenza for children ages one through eight, and 72 per cent effective for the general population.

RELATED: Get your flu shot at Pharmasave

This is a huge increase in efficacy over last year’s vaccine, which was less than 20 per cent effective against the dominant influenza A (H3N2) for the general population.

“Vaccine effectiveness in general tends to be better against H1N1 viruses than the other kind of influenza A,” said Dr. Danuta Skowronksi, lead for the Influenza and Emerging Respiratory Pathogens Team at the BCCDC and the lead of the surveillance network.

“This year’s vaccine performed well in part because the H1N1 kind of influenza A virus has been dominating and because this year’s vaccine is a good match to that circulating virus.”

According to the BCCDC, the H1N1 virus tends to have a greater effect on children and non-elderly adults, whereas the H3N2 virus tends to be harder on seniors.

“A lot of children who weren’t born in the last few years will not have seen the H1N1 virus that was introduced during the pandemic in 2009 and has been circulating since then,” said Dr. Manish Sadarangani, a pediatric infection diseases doctor at BC Children’s Hospital. “So it’s likely they have lower immunity to the H1N1 than people who are older.”

RELATED: Good news: Peak flu season over in B.C.

While Dr. Sadarangani said October is the ideal time of year to get a shot, he added it’s not too late if you have yet to do so.

“There’s still a lot of influenza A and a lot of H1N1 circulating,” he said. “With the great vaccine effectiveness data that came out of the study published today, I would definitely encourage people to go out and get their flu shots.”

When asked about next year’s season, he said it’s impossible to predict what will be the dominant strain.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATE: Kelowna man given 4 year sentence after creating pimp operation on dating site

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Recovering Kelowna addict rises above her past

Victimized by systems suppose to help, a woman tries to fix her life

Plugged in: Kelowna teen thriving with professional eSports U.S. team

Russel Van Dulken turned his love and skills of gaming into a career

Okanagan College names new fundraising director

Helen Jackman will join the college as executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation and director of advancement

Olympian Andi Naude retires from freestyle skiing

Penticton native skied in 62 World Cup single and dual moguls events in her career

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Okangan author shorlisted in B.C. historical writing competition

The BC Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing will be awarded together with $2,500 to the author whose book makes the most significant contribution to the historical literature of British Columbia.

Most Read