ACHA Update: Flu Vaccine Effectiveness and Adjunct Use of Antiviral Medication

Information courtesy of the American College Health Association (AHCA)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released initial surveillance information in their recent advisory indicating that this year’s flu vaccine covers 48 percent of the influenza A (H3N2) viruses collected and analyzed in the United States from October 1 through November 22, 2014. This means 52 percent were antigenically different (drifted) from the H3N2 vaccine virus.

While this is disappointing news, college health professionals should still work vigorously to promote this year’s flu vaccine.

The CDC advocates a three-pronged approach:

  1. Clinicians should continue to recommend flu vaccine which still has significant impact.
  2. When flu is diagnosed, make an assessment regarding the appropriate use of antivirals.
  3. Continue implementing preventive measures included in respiratory etiquette.

For more detailed information on this CDC health advisory click here.