The past influenza season in the northern hemisphere saw very high rates of illness, hospitalisations and deaths. A recent study on influenza showed that on average 1 in 5 unvaccinated children and 1 in 10 unvaccinated adults are infected with seasonal influenza annually. Half of those infected have typical symptoms of influenza. Rates are highest in children, followed by older people, and lowest in adults. Vaccine efficacy varies considerably each season depending on if the vaccine matches the circulating strains well or not. The match for the past northern hemisphere vaccine was not good so protection was estimated to be only 36%. We have a different component in our vaccine for this season and hope it will match the strains we get. I encourage you to have an influenza vaccine and also remember that in the tropical parts of the world influenza circulates year round.
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