CDC: 2016-2017 flu vaccine offers moderate protection

Flu-related hospitalizations and pediatric deaths are reaching concerning levels with the CDC stating this year's vaccine offers moderate protection against the main family of viruses causing the flu, according to STAT.

Here are four things to know:

1. In the week ending Feb. 11, 2017, the CDC reported nine influenza-associated pediatric deaths which bring this year's total number to 29 pediatric flu deaths so far. During that week, the cumulative overall flu hospitalization rate was 29.4 per 100,000 people, up from 26.3 per 100,000 the week prior.

2. The CDC report found this year's flu vaccine lowers a person's risk of contracting the flu and needing to see a provider by 48 percent.

3. Many Americans are contracting the H3N2 virus. The study found the vaccine's H3N2 component provided nearly 43 percent protection against medically attended influenza. Comparatively, the vaccine's influenza B component offers 73 percent protection.

4.  Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist with the CDC's influenza division, told STAT, "It's not as good as we would like to see, and we've seen higher for some of the seasons — more for H1N1 and for [flu] B. But for H3N2, it’s as good as we have seen for some of the H3N2 seasons that have been well matched."

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