Vaccination prevents severe flu illness, death in children

Vaccination against the flu protected children against serious illness and death even when they were infected with a flu virus that was antigenically different from the vaccine virus, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Researchers looked at data from the 2019–2020 flu season, during which a record-breaking 199 flu deaths in children were reported to the CDC and when most flu activity was caused by two viruses that were antigenically different from their corresponding vaccine viruses. The study’s findings reinforce the benefit of flu vaccination, even when circulating flu viruses have drifted and are different from the virus used in vaccine production. (CDC news release, 1/13/22)