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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Nuxalk Nation receives over $4 million in funding for Big House

The funding is joint federal, provincial and municipal and will support 24 infrastructure projects

CCRD receives almost $1 million in funding for local parks; playground rehabilitation

The project includes the rehabilitation of the Walker Island Park and Nusatsum Park playgrounds

Thousands of dollars in Indigenous art missing after Bella Coola break-in

Masks, prints and a hand painted canoe are just a few of the missing items

Pacific Coastal service to begin July 26

The company has not flown into the community since March

Central Coast regional emergency partnership receives funding

The funding is part of the nearly $69.5-million Community Emergency Preparedness Fund

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Budget officer pegs cost of basic income as calls for it grow due to COVID-19

Planned federal spending to date on pandemic-related aid now tops about $174 billion

Most Read