'New and improved' vaccines unveiled for upcoming flu season

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'New and improved' vaccines unveiled for upcoming flu season
'New and improved' vaccines unveiled for upcoming flu season
Officials at the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week that they approved the upcoming flu season's batch of vaccines, and are hopeful that this year's formula will be more effective than last year's.

Breaking with tradition, the agencies changed all three flu virus strains. Usually, only one or two are updated, but last year's inoculation was only 44% effective. Two of the three strains recommended for the U.S.  are now in use for the 2008-2009 flu season in the Southern Hemisphere. There are six vaccines for the 2008-2009 flu season in the U.S.

Several studies have questioned the effectiveness of the flu shot, especially as it relates to seniors (McKnight's, 8/5). Every year, roughly 36,000 people in the United States die from influenza or complications arising from an influenza infection, according to the CDC. Of those, up to 90% are seniors.