Researchers believe flu vaccine may not be as effective this year

Flu season is in full swing. Getting your vaccination is the first step to protecting yourself. Getty Images  Kaitlyn Flannagan for Observer

A universal flu vaccine would eliminate the need for annual shots, as well as attack both pandemic and seasonal strains of the influenza virus.

According to health experts, this year is expected to be one of the worst in a while. Flu viruses typically circulate widely into the spring months, and it isn't clear if the early start will mean an early end or a long season. The vaccine that the Australians received was only 10 percent effective.

Though researchers are working hard behind the scenes to develop more effective vaccines, you should still aim to be proactive about your health.

Also, experts suggest getting the flu shot.

MYTH 2: The flu vaccine isn't always effective. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

Symptoms of influenza include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue.

The vaccine this year may not offer much protection at all.

More news: Nationwide Christmas Tree Shortage: Experts Say Get Your Tree Early

Now doctors say it doesn't matter whether or not you got your flu shot last year, you're going to have to come back for another vaccination because this year's flu is different.

"The vaccine is still the best bet we have, the best tool we have", Poursina says. Even if you got vaccinated you may be at risk.

So far, 105 people have been hospitalized for the flu in Oklahoma.

Some people, such as those over the age of 65, young children, pregnant women, American Indian/Alaska Natives and those with certain health conditions, are at higher risk for serious flu complications.

FACT: Influenza certainly does not discriminate. The influenza A virus was the most common flu strain. Nationwide figures aren't as up-to-date, but show 400 people have tested positive for flu after being hospitalized with suspicious symptoms as of November 18.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say you should be vigilant with washing your hands, avoid touching your eyes and mouth, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy to help give your immune system a boost.

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