According to recent data from the Public Agency of Canada, 583 influenza viruses have been identified. The quadivalent vaccine that we gave children last Fall (Flulaval Tetra) covers 98.2% of these viruses.
The trivalent vaccine (Agriflu and Fluviral) covers 99.8% of the Influenza A viruses (including H3N2 and H1N1).
So why are so many people getting sick with the flu?
Regrettably, unlike the quadrivalent vaccine, the trivalent version does not vaccinate against the vast majority of the Influenza B viruses. Even so, the trivalent vaccine is a match against 62.3% of all indentified flu viruses this year.
Articles like the one below, published in December, warned about strains in Australia and Western Canada and speculated on their potential impact.
In reality, the flu vaccine is an excellent match – or in the words of the National Microbiology Laboratory – the circulating influenza viruses are “antigenically similar to components in the 2017-2018 Northern Hemisphere vaccine.”
The bottom line – get the Flu vaccine.