Flu shot not a good match for strain that affects children

Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 9:32 PM CST
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Health officials are reporting that a subgroup of influenza B is not a good match with this year’s flu shot.

It is this strain that doctors say is harder for children to recover from.

This year’s flu season has been sweeping the nation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting more than 12,000 deaths and at least 22 million people infected so far this year.

In particular, the flu B strain is hitting children the hardest. The CDC says out of 78 pediatric deaths, 53 of them were from this strain.

"We take into consideration patterns of flu from different years, different types of flu going across the globe,” said Mary Parrish with the Brazos County Health District. "It is a very educated guess, but because it still is a guess, it does leave a little bit of uncertainty."

T’Shana Everitt picks her grandson up from school nearly every day, and says she makes sure he stays on top of keeping himself safe from the flu.

"We always get flu shots every year hoping they get it right and it can protect us very well,” said Everitt. "The rest is us just being very diligent and educating the kids on not touching everything and everyone, which is really hard."

Even though this year’s flu shot is not a great match for flu B, the Brazos County Health District says it is still important to still get the flu shot.

"The big thing is, if someone gets sick with the flu, their sick time is much shorter compared to an unvaccinated person,” said Parrish. "It also reduces the risk of hospitalization and death."

Parrish says the Brazos County Health District is no longer offering free flu shots, but say you can still get them during operating hours for a small fee.