Influenza Vaccine More Effective Than Previously Projected

The 2017/2018 influenza vaccine was more effective in the United States than Canada and Australia.

The influenza vaccine's efficacy has been somewhat better than expected, but there's more work to do, according to a statement from a senior FDA official today.

"Allthough the initial report of 36% overall efficacy for this year’s vaccine in the United States that has been reported by our colleagues at the US CDC is better than some might have predicted, there is still clearly significant room for improvement," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD. "The FDA is committed to working together with the scientific and medical communities to better protect the public against the flu and apply lessons learned to next season’s flu vaccines."

Although the overall efficacy of the vaccine is 36%, the vaccine is still only estimated to be 25% effective against influenza A (H3N2) virus, according to the CDC. The interim estimate indicates that vaccination provided some protection, in contrast with recently reported nonsignificant estimates of 17% efficacy in Canada and 10% in Australia. Efficacy against influenza A in the 2016-2017 season was 32%.

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