New research has shown that this year’s flu vaccine is offering little to no protection against the predominant H3N2 strain going around in Alberta.
So far this year, 52 people in the province have died from the flu, while there are normally 30 to 40 deaths during a normal flu season.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. James Talbot explains that the World Health Organization recommends which strains to include each year, and vaccines are ordered months in advance.
“This year there has been a significant shift from what we expected to see and what is actually circulating. I’d like to emphasize that usually the vaccine provides a much higher rate of effectiveness, and has not done so this year because the virus has mutated.”
The vaccine still protects against H1N1 and Influenza B, which normally spikes at the end of the flu season.
142 people in northern Alberta have been hospitalized so far, with six deaths.