Is this year's flu vaccine effective? The experts weigh in - | WBTV Charlotte

Is this year's flu vaccine effective? The experts weigh in


The Centers for Disease Control says they've seen significant increases in the flu in the past two weeks. Officials are urging people to get a flu shot even though some who got the shot are still getting sick.

So is this year's vaccine effective?

Experts say it's too soon in the season to tell, but doctors know this. They are seeing a lot more cases this year than they did this same time last year.

"We're probably seeing 20 or 30 cases a day already," said Dr. Charles Bregier with Presbyterian Urgent Care. "And you know the weather's going to get colder which brings people into closer proximity to each other which increases the risk of transmission." 

Three people in North Carolina have already died.

The CDC says it's National Influenza Vaccination Week and they are urging people to get a flu shot.

"Good hygiene and don't touch things that other people touch in common areas and get a flu shot," said Dr. Bregier.

He says that's the best way to protect yourself. Even if you've never had the virus or you got a flu shot and still got the flu.

"If you haven't had a flu shot and you had the flu, go ahead and get one after you're feeling better," he advised. "You don't want to get the shot while you're actively sick." 

That's because the vaccine protects against the most common strains of the flu but not all of them.

So if you are sick, don't waste any time getting checked out. If you're diagnosed within the first 48 hours, doctors can give you Tamiflu.

The antiviral medication can shorten the length of the flu if taken right away.

Oh, and doctors also want to clear up another big misconception - so listen carefully.

"Getting the flu shot does not cause the flu," Dr. Bregier said.  

If you do get sick after getting the vaccine, chances are it's just the common cold. @

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