Marshfield Clinic helps CDC with flu vaccine effectiveness
For 10 years, Dr. Edward Belongia and the Marshfield Clinic have been working with the Centers for Disease Control, researching the effectiveness of the flu vaccine.
Those findings have now been released.
"What we found was that overall the flu vaccine is working well," says Belongia, director of epidemiology at the Marshfield Clinic.
More than 2,000 people from across the country took part in the study, including about 900 from the Marshfield Clinic. The CDC's conclusion: the majority of the time the shot works.
"We're seeing across all ages substantial protection ranging from kids where we see the highest protection around 67 percent. But, even in people over 65 we're seeing over 50% protection,” says Belongia.
The Marshfield Clinic is one of five medical centers in the country to receive CDC funding for this type of research.
Doctors say the research is easily collected. First, a person with a respiratory illness is enrolled into the study.
"With their consent, we collect a swab from the nose and throat and we test it for the flu virus,” says Belongia.
Doctors then compare patients with the flu who got the vaccine versus those who did not get the shot. The research helps to determine next year's vaccine.