20% effective flu vaccine saves tens of thousands

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KCPQ/CNN) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu season is winding down as the number of cases being reported is on the decline. But the deaths of 160 children and thousands of adults since October is attributed to influenza.

A new study published in the scientific journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States,” estimates thousands of lives were saved by the flu shot.

The CDC found the vaccine was about 36 percent effective for the 2017-2018 flu season, which ends in May.

The study found that a 20 percent effective vaccine could reduce the number of doctor’s visits by 20 million and prevent about 61,000 deaths.

Scientists calculated the number by using the average percentage of Americans who get a yearly flu shot which is less than half the population.

Doctors say if more people got vaccinated it could help cut down on the spread of the virus, thus prevent more illness and deaths.

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