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

Chance of showers and thunderstorm for Okanagan-Shuswap-Similkameen

Mostly cloudy day for the Okanagan-Shuswap and Similkameen regions

Vernon and Sicamous cannabis stores get provincial nod

Spiritleaf in Vernon will be the Okanagan’s first cannabis store.

UBC Okanagan study seeking North Okanagan participants

The research will be examining food purchasing preferences and behaviour, completion results in $400 cash prize

Province urged to increase funds for libraries

“It needs to be a collective of all library boards in B.C. to increase funding”

Falkland teen to compete at world’s largest rodeo

Taya Hamming will be travelling to Rock Springs, Wyoming July 14-20 for the 71st annual National High School Finals Rodeo

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Trans event at Pride gives marginalized youth a community, says director

The Trans Youth March and Social participants rallied on Thursday, June 20.

Crews fight wildfire along Sea-to-Sky Highway

A cause has not been determined, although a downed power line is suspected

Two mudslides close Seymour Arm road in North Shuswap, no one injured

Slides hit Seymour Arm Main Forest Service Road halfway between St. Ives and Seymour Arm

One Okanagan municipality has seen a crime increase in almost every statistical category, report says

Report states there were 617 offences in Lake Country in 2018; almost 100 more than 2017

“Our community has had its heart broken”: South Okanagan celebrates life of David Kampe

Community and families members who knew Kampe give tearful addresses

Lower lake levels could create bumper crop of invasive milfoil

The CSRD board received an update on efforts to suppress the invasive aquatic plant

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Most Read