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Morning Exam: Is this year's flu shot effective? - KOAM TV 7

Morning Exam: Is this year's flu shot effective?

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A recent advisory from the Centers for Disease Control said this year's flu vaccine may not offer protection against the bug currently making its rounds.

According to Dr. James Hoff, a cardiologist with Mercy Hospital, the World Health Organization plans the flu shot, and the Food and Drug Administration decides what will be in that particular vaccine.

"They have to plan really far in advance, and this year, they just missed," Hoff said. "Every year is a little bit different."

"I think for the people who already have the flu shot, they should realize they are still covered," Hoff said.

Hoff said this year's vaccine can still decrease the chance of of getting the flu by 40%.

"The people who have the flu shot, they should feel reassured that it's still going to work to a great degree," Hoff said.

This year's flu shot still offers other protections against other strains of the flu, Hoff said.

"The problem is - there's one specific strain that this year's flu shot is not covering very well, but it covers the other two strains really well," Hoff said. "It's a little bit of a hit or miss."

Even if you get the flu, Hoff said there are still medications that will decrease the time you have to deal with it.

"The most common one is Tamiflu," Hoff said. "If you have the symptoms and you get into your doctor right away, specifically within two days, and that doctor starts you on Tamiflu, then you will decrease your length of dealing with the flu by about two days."

"But the key is - you have to get in to see your doctor within that first two days," Hoff said.

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