CDC confident new flu vaccine will protect against this year's virus

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While last year's flu season proved problematic for health officials, this year scientists say they are well prepared.

Making sure not to repeat last year when the vaccine did not protect many against the flu (McKnight's, 2/12), scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been working to find just the right viral cocktail. CDC officials said Wednesday that the new vaccine contains three strains of influenza they believe will be right on target for preventing the flu. The CDC has expanded its list of people recommended to get the vaccine to include all children aged 6 months to 18 years, all people over the age of 50, pregnant women, those with chronic conditions and all healthcare workers. That represents some 260 million people, or roughly 86% of the American public.

Up to 145 million doses of flu vaccine will be available—enough to cover all those who want the vaccine. Every year, roughly 36,000 Americans die from influenza. Up to 90% of them are seniors.