Health expert: flu vaccine 'moderately effective' this year

CREATED Jan. 14, 2013

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MARSHFIELD - The flu vaccine appears to be working this year, Wisconsin health officials said Monday.

"The vaccine has been moderately effective," Dr. Edward Belongia, director of Marshfield Clinic's Epidemiology Research Center, told WTMJ's Wisconsin's Afternoon News.  "If I had to give it a grade, I'd give it a B."

The vaccine has been about 60% effective, according to Belongia.

Despite the success rate of the vaccine, Wisconsin has seen widespread cases of the flu this year. 

"We're seeing a strain of influenza this year that tends to be more severe," he explained.  "We see more hospitalizations and deaths with the H3N2 strain."

Belongia compared this year's flu season to that of 2007-08.

"It is by no means a record breaking season in terms of severity."