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June 27, 2019

This is how effective the flu vaccine was for the 2018-2019 flu season

Reports hold that it didn't work on the bug that popped up halfway through the season

Illness Flu Season
flu-shot-flickr Government of Prince Edward Island/Flickr

Flu shot being administered.

The 2018-2019 flu season was a particularly rough one in the United States, with a death toll of close to 57,000

A report released Thursday suggests this year’s vaccine — which has a varying formula each year to protect against the different flu strains projected to be active — wasn't very effective against a bug that popped up halfway through the flu season, according to the Associated Press.

RELATED READ: These Pennsylvania counties hardest hit by the flu this season

The vaccine only proved to be 29 percent effective overall during the season, the AP reported:

The flu shot was working well early in the season with effectiveness put at 47% in February. But it was virtually worthless during a second wave driven by a tougher strain, at just 9%.
This season’s shot turned out to be a mismatch against the bug that showed up late.

According to the CDC, flu vaccines generally protect against three to four viruses, depending on those circulating. This season saw a three-component vaccine, composed of two variations of the A strain of the flu and one of the B.

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