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Flu vaccine doesn’t fully cover Influenza B, CDC says

The CDC reports a mismatch in the flu vaccine doesn't fully provide protection for Influenza B. Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports this year’s flu vaccine may not be a great match for the Influenza B virus — which is the virus dominating this year’s flu season. The current vaccine is roughly a 58% genetic match for Influenza B, which represents about 2/3 of Utah cases.

A mismatch of the vaccine means it won’t provide full protection.

Dr. Andrew Pavia, chief of pediatric diseases at Primary Children’s Hospital, says the flu shots are created based on research for the current flu season.

“The flu shot is not a perfect vaccine,” he said. “People will always be at some risk of getting the flu even if they’ve had the vaccine.”

Pavia told KSL TV the vaccine can prevent severe illness that might lead to hospitalization or even death. The mismatch in genetics is not the same as a mismatch in protection.

Health care professionals won’t know how effective the vaccine is until next month.