Latest Flu Vaccine Gave Poor Protection, CDC Says

April 23, 2008

Influenza vaccine had limited efficacy during the last flu season, uptake of the rotavirus vaccine is encouraging and researchers who have contact with a virus related to smallpox should be vaccinated, according to three articles in the April 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccine had limited efficacy during the last flu season, uptake of the rotavirus vaccine is encouraging and researchers who have contact with a virus related to smallpox should be vaccinated, according to three articles in the April 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The trivalent vaccine used during the 2007-2008 influenza season was suboptimally matched to circulating virus strains, and the overall vaccine effectiveness from Jan. 21 to Feb. 8, 2008, was 44 percent, according to a case-control study of 616 patients in the Marshfield, Wis., area.

In the same issue of the CDC's report, uptake of the rotavirus vaccine from the date of licensing in February 2006 to May 2007 was assessed to see whether the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation for routine vaccination of U.S. infants is being followed. The report found that by May 15, 2007, just fewer than half of all infants aged 3 months had been vaccinated with at least one of the recommended doses.

According to another article, the ACIP recommends that laboratory workers in contact with cultures or animals contaminated or infected with nonhighly attenuated strains of the smallpoxlike orthopoxvirus, vaccinia virus (VACV) should be vaccinated. "Appropriate infection- control measures should be instituted at the time of presentation of a patient with a suspected case, and whenever possible, clinical care should be provided by persons who have been vaccinated with VACV," the authors write.

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