Which Flu Shot is Most Effective

Influenza vaccination recommended for most at risk populations
CDC center in Atlanta
CDC's Tom Harkin Global Communications Center Feb 2023
(Precision Vaccinations News)

As the current flu season in the Northern Hemisphere comes to an early end, there is preliminary good news regarding the 173.02 million influenza vaccines distributed during 2022 - 2023 in the U.S.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine committee met today (online and in Atlanta) and reviewed a new analysis indicating this flu season's flu shots effectively reduced related hospitalizations.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) influenza sub-committee, led by Dr. Keipp Talbot, stated the 2022-2023 influenza vaccine preliminary effectiveness was about 68% protective of pediatric patients and 43% of adults against related hospitalization.

Additionally, data presented by the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute demonstrated that cell-based influenza vaccines, such as FlucelVax®, provided:

  • 71% effectiveness in children between 6 months and 18 years 
  • 54% effectiveness among adults younger than 64 years

Dr. José R. Romero with the CDC commented, 'While today's flu shot data is positive, we need to continue focusing on co-circulating respiratory diseases, such as RSV.'

This data release on February 22, 2023, compares well with the last flu season.

Last year, the U.S. CDC ACIP confirmed the 2021–2022 influenza vaccination provided protection against the predominant influenza A/H3N2 illness of varying severity – 36% (95%CI: 20, 49) against outpatient diseases aged ≥6 months; 19% (95%CI: -12, 41) against pediatric ED visits; 31% (95%CI: -14, 58) against pediatric hospitalizations; and 11% (95%CI: -19, 33) against adult hospitalizations.

Given the flu shot's effectiveness rate, the ACIP committee members fully endorsed its multi-year current recommendation.

The ACIP made a "universal" recommendation during the 2010-2011 flu season, stating everyone six months and older in the U.S. should get the influenza vaccine every flu season with rare exceptions.

And some children may need two doses of flu vaccine.

For those children, getting the first dose as soon as the vaccine is available is recommended because the second dose needs to be given at least four weeks after the first.

The ACIP's recommendation is essential today, as there have already been 111 pediatric fatalities related to influenza during the 2022-2023 season.

The CDC staff reported that about 22% of children who died from influenza were vaccinated in previous years.

In the U.S., various flu shots are available, including innovative cell-based, quadrivalent vaccines.

A significant percentage of flu shots have been administered by pharmacies this year, with ample supplies available heading into the spring season.

Furthermore, the CDC clarified the annual flu shot is not recommended to prevent 'bird-flu' infections, which have been widely reported over the past year.

The is one approved avian influenza vaccine (CSL Seqirus Inc. Audenz™) currently managed by the U.S. government.

Our Trust Standards: Medical Advisory Committee

Article by
Donald Hackett