Public Health

This Year's Flu Vaccine Ineffective in the Elderly

Leading to high rates of hospitalization

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This season's flu vaccine was almost completely ineffective in people 65 and older, which could explain why rates of hospitalization and death have been some of the highest ever recorded for that age group, according to early estimates released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For people under 65, getting vaccinated this season reduced the need to go to the doctor for the flu by one-half to two-thirds.

For those 65 and older, though, it helped in just 9% of cases, a number too low to be statistically significant, according to a report in the CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report released Thursday.

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