Recent news about flu shot effectiveness causing confusion

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Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever. But a new study is raising doubts about this year's flu shot. Those especially at risk are adults 65 years of age and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, people with certain chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or other long-term medical conditions.

We've been warning that the flu could have a severe season this year. This year, it seems, the scientists may have gotten it wrong, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

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"If it's a bad flu season you'll probably have one out of two, one out of four chance of getting the flu".

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established National Influenza Vaccination Week in 2005 to raise awareness about the importance of flu vaccination, even after the end of November.

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As for reports that the vaccine is only 10 percent effective this year, Tebb says it may be too early to crunch those numbers.

"Every year, there are deaths from influenza and pneumonia, and certainly, influenza is something to be concerned about", Sweeney said.

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In honor of National Influenza Week, Schnucks is offering a $10 Schnucks gift card to all patients who get a flu shot at any of the 95 Schnucks Pharmacies between December 6 and December 12. A protein within the egg can modify the strain, making the vaccine less effective. But the article applies to studies conducted in Australia, not the United States. Other regions are reporting regional or localized outbreaks. Preventive actions such as simply washing hands and covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing can guard against the flu.

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