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

Northwest Wave Riders return from Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

This was the first time in 25 years that northern B.C. teams competed

Feds approve $4M for Tahltan protected and conserved areas

Well defined stewardship will help nation reduce uncertainties for resource partners

BC Parks student rangers complete several northwest B.C. conservation projects

This was the first time the summer program operated out of Terrace

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read