Government announces free flu vaccine for three million older Australians

Flu deaths hit 79 in Ga

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said the number of states reporting heavy flu patient traffic also held steady at 43.

Studies in Canada and the United States have shown, unsurprisingly, that the vaccine is ineffective against H3N2 - 17 per cent in Canada, and 25 per cent in the United States.

"The over all studies suggest about 60 percent, that's a good standard [for a rate of effectiveness.] We'd love to have 90 or even 100 percent", said University of Pittsburgh's Dr. Richard Zimmerman, who heads one of the five CDC sites that study flu vaccine effectiveness. There have been at least 84 child flu deaths in the United States this year, and at least eight in Canada, and this ideal storm of a flu season is far from over.

Q: Is it too late to get my daughter a flu shot?

Although some factors are beyond our control, such as the ability of flu virus to change rapidly as it circulates, there are steps that we can take to ensure that the seasonal influenza vaccine protects as many individuals as possible.

This flu season started early and got intense quickly, becoming one of the worst seasons in more than a decade. The majority of flu vaccines given around the world are also grown in eggs, which can cause the virus to mutate and differ from circulating strains, and thus become less protective. Overall, this season's vaccine is 36 percent effective.

"Hospitalization rates are significantly higher than what we've seen for this time of year since our current tracking system began nearly a decade ago", Schuchat added.

Flu season is still wreaking havoc across Louisiana.

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Older Australians will be given free, stronger flu vaccinations by the federal government in an effort to prevent another deadly flu season.

Instead, the vaccine may falter over a phenomenon called the 'original antigenic sin'.

The map tracks the unusual pattern of this year's outbreak, which unexpectedly hit the West first.

And if you don't have the flu, but just a cough and cold, there is a New Mexico cure for that, said Jones.

"It's disgusting to see your child with a breathing mask on her face", said Stephanie Calvin, 35, of Mandeville, La., whose 4-year-old daughter has been sick with flu for four weeks. These include providing some manufacturers with the seed viruses used for further vaccine manufacture and the critical potency reagents needed to ensure that influenza vaccines made by one manufacturer are similar to those made by another.

Fluad is a trivalent vaccine containing an adjuvant to boost protection.

It's important to know the difference between symptoms of the flu and the common cold. But this season, new questions arose about the widely adopted egg-based vaccine production process, which was suspected to have reduced the shots' effectiveness, according to a recent New England Journal of Medicine commentary.

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