There is certainly lots of media, rumors and misunderstanding about a recent publication from Australia speaking to the effectiveness of this year's flu vaccine. Various sources report 10% effectiveness for a portion of the flu vaccine specific to influenza A H3N2 and the Southern Hemisphere. For a number of reasons, the Australian situation is not necessarily predictive of what we should expect in the U.S. or in Spokane County.
Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu.