MOBILE, Ala. (WALA)--The flu vaccine is not a good match for the B/Victoria strain this year.
Health experts say its pretty unusual that we’re seeing Flu B the most right now.
Mark Minton, a physician assistant with Compass Urgent Care, says this hasn’t happened since the 90’s.
Every year experts at the Centers for Disease Control look at previous flu seasons to formulate the next vaccine.
“Normal flu vaccine is gonna provide two different types of A, one or two of B, depending on which vaccine you received. And this year the sub sub type of B is just not as accurate,” said Minton.
This year’s vaccine is only about 58% effective for B/victoria according to the CDC.
This means there’s a 42 percent chance of getting sick with that flu strain which is the most common B strand.
“Flu B typically affects really adults and kids, but kids seem to be more susceptible to that.”
Minton says he himself has seen at least six patients who got sick after being vaccinated, but still getting the flu shot makes a difference.
"If you get the flu after getting a vaccine you're likely to have a much less severe illness so you can prevent hospitalization and even potentially death if you get the vaccine," said Dr. Rendi Murphree with the Mobile County Health Department.
“So far it’s just one that we don’t see a good match for so the other three, specifically H1N1, is spot on so that’s still a significant percentage of the flu that’s out there that it’s effective for.”
The Mobile County Health Department has seen 1,819 flu cases so far compared to about 600 around the same time last year.
Of the more than 1,800 cases that number consists of 1,464 B Cases, 317 A cases and only 38 type A/B.
“If you’re feeling bad, especially if you felt great one moment then felt like you were run over the next moment, probably flu. Probably time to get a test.”
County health experts say flu season peaks in February so the most important thing is to get the flu shot, maintain good hygiene and see a doctor as soon as possible if you feel sick.