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

Rossland council urges minister to kill Jumbo Glacier Resort project

Mayor writes letter panning ski resort on environmental, legal, and economic grounds

Contempt charge against Balfour logging protesters dropped on technicality

A B.C. Supreme Court justice ruled Cooper Creek Cedar failed to file a contempt application

Jail time for driver involved in Castlegar road rampage

Sean Patrick Byrne caused havoc on Castlegar roads in November

Update: 75th annual Rossland-Trail Open crowns three-time champion

Kevin Hogg wins the Birchbank Golf Course’s 75th Rossland-Trail Open … again

Clean the house, prep for your next trip: Tips to nix the post-vacation blues

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

Most Read