BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Flu shot fail. For the first time in ten years, health workers say this year’s vaccine is the least effective. But doctors say getting the vaccine can still protect you.

Gigi Barnett explains how.

Back in October, the line to get a flu shot at the Baltimore County Health Department stretched outside. This weekend, the vaccine is still in high supply–but demand isn’t.

Health workers blame the low turnout, in part, on the vaccine itself.

“With a lot of people, they’re saying, ‘why bother?’ We’re saying, ‘bother,'” said Barbara McLean, chief of the Bureau of Prevention, Protection and Preparedness.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control say this year’s vaccine is the least effective they’ve seen in a decade, but doctors say getting the shot can still do some good against the flu.

“It is still useful in preventing severe disease and hospitalizations and death. So there’s still a reason to get it, believe me,” said McLean.

Doctors say this year’s flu vaccine is only about 23 percent effective. In years past, it’s been at least 60 percent effective.

“Twenty-three percent is better than no percent, and I don’t want to get the flu,” said patient Stephanie Williams.

That’s the same reason why Stanly Spriggs got his shot this weekend. His doctor’s urging to get it was stronger than reports of the vaccine’s low efficacy.

“No matter what the report says, I came out to get it. So I’m good,” Spriggs said.

In addition to getting the shot, health workers say the best way to protect yourself from the flu is to wash your hands often.


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