Health officials: This year’s flu vaccine isn’t working

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NEW YORK (AP) – As predicted, this year’s flu vaccine is doing a pretty crummy job. Health officials say a new study shows it’s only 23% effective.

That’s one of the worst performances since the government started tracking how well vaccines work a decade ago. The best flu vaccines were 50 to 60% effective.

This year, the vaccine doesn’t include the specific virus that is making most people sick. Early in the season, officials warned the vaccine probably would not work very well.

The study results were released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They studied about 2,300 people in five states who were sick.

In December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the flu had reached “epidemic” levels after 15 died as a result of the virus. Flu-related hospitalizations among people 65 years and older has reached 38.3 per 100,000 people, the highest rate of any age group.

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