Health expert Jennifer Caudle joins Rite Aid in promoting flu shot availability


As CBS2's Alice Gainer reported, several states are already reporting more cases than usual.

Conover said he has seen between 50 and 100 cases of the flu so far this season with the first being in September.

The report warns flu vaccines may only be 10% effective. CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the "nasal spray" flu vaccine, should not be used during the 2017-2018 flu season.

Mahoning County Health Commissioner Pat Sweeney said during any given year, there is a 40 to 60 percent match - vaccine to virus.

The Centers for Disease Control says confirmed cases are at just over 7,000.

When news starts circulating that the flu shot may not work, some people skip it. Sweeney said that's the wrong choice.

Not only has flu season arrived early, but the US may be particularly hard-hit.

There are two major things that could contribute to this. Or the vaccine itself may mutate while it is being grown - currently, vaccines are grown in eggs, but many experts don't think that's ideal as the vaccine virus tends to undergo mutations to adapt to growing in an egg.

"I know 100% that if you don't get a flu vaccine you will have no protection", Burstein said.

"Lot's of different strains and it's changing all the time, and so by the time we pick a version of the virus to make into a vaccine and put into production might take 6 to 8 months and in that time, the virus might change", Infectious Disease Researcher, The Broad Institute, Dr. Pardis Sabeti said. Many physicians, pharmacies, employers, schools, colleges and universities also offer flu vaccines.