It was a hectic day for the federal health officials on Tuesday as they faced tough questions over the weak results of this season’s flu vaccine in giving protection against the winter menace.
The lawmakers on Tuesday condemned the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), saying why didn’t it rushed into action to create a better-matched vaccine months ago when the serious concerns of the weak medications first arose.
This flu season is particularly bad and the important reason behind it is that this year’s vaccine is not efficient enough to give protection against the most common flu strain of the current season.
Defending the federal agency’s actions, CDC immunization chief Dr. Anne Schuchat said that it was impossible to change the course as it was too late to do so.
According to Schuchat, the CDC first took note of a minor change in the strain last March, but at that time the swing had become very common in September.
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa. urged the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee to immediately find out the methods to improve as well as boost the flu vaccine production process.
According to a recent CDC report, the flu vaccine for this year has proved to be nearly 23 percent effective, in lieu of the usual 50-60 percent efficacy.
The report also termed this year’s flu season as very severe owing to the fact that this season witnessed more than usual hospitalizations among the high risk groups, especially elderly.
Flu claims lives of nearly 24,000 Americans on average each year.
The lawmakers also took special note of the gradual rise in cases of measles linked to California’s Disney Park, which has infected over 100. The lawmakers and the health official echoed each other in urging the Americans to get themselves and their children vaccinated against the highly contagious disease.