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Fewer visits to the doctor for the flu may indicate that the season is winding down, but state health officials are not ready to declare the worst is over, just yet.

However, the CDC says consumers should still take steps to protect themselves against the flu and get the flu shot.

School leaders should make it easier for teachers and staff to get vaccinated, by providing vaccines at school, or by offering incentives for them to get the flu shot, Schaffner said.

The FDA is looking at why this year's vaccine had a low effectiveness rate. 25 percent for type A and 46 percent for type B. It's even better for six month old babies to eight year old children, 59 percent effective overall.

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Research being done at the University of Arizona is reshaping how flu vaccines will be made in the future by studying strains of the virus that first affected people in an earlier time period. Our current flu season is only about halfway through.

Last week, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported the second pediatric flu death this season.

There are four types of influenza in play this year, Douglas said, and the effectiveness of the vaccine has varied depending on the type of flu.

In a statement, he said an analysis of the data is still underway, but it may have some clues on effectiveness of cell-based and egg-based vaccines and may shed light on effectiveness of high-dose and adjuvanted version of the vaccines in seniors, as compared to standard flu vaccine.

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"We know the influenza vaccine is far from flawless, [but] it happens to be the best we have available now, and any degree of prevention and protection that we can get from using our pretty good vaccine ... helps mitigate the impact of influenza on our population, including in our schools", he added. The vaccines cover this and Influenza B, H-1-N-1. And why have vaccines in prior seasons when H3N2 circulated, also delivered reduced protection against this particular flu strain?

The nation has seen some of the highest levels of flu-like illness and hospitalization rates in recent years, with elevated activity occurring in most of the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was this strain that caused much of the influenza-related illness this flu season.

In the meantime, this flu season isn't over yet, though CDC data shows a decline in visits to doctor's offices and outpatient clinics. "Clearly states that the vaccination is at least part of the problem if not the whole problem". It can also reduce your contagiousness to others, so if you live with somebody who would really get sick with the flu, get vaccinated.

"We're planning for the flu all year", Powell said.

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