Your Flu Vaccine May Basically Be Useless

Fredy DeLeon (L) receives a flu shot from Walgreens pharmacist Robert Fox at a Walgreens Pharmacy on January 14, 2014 in Concord, California.  Public health officials are encouraging residents to get flu shots as an aggressive strain of the H1N1 "swine flu" has killed 15 people in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

That’s right: This year’s flu vaccine is an unusually poor match to the prevalent viruses. As it turns out, about half of the most common strain is a new sub-variation that the existing vaccine is not very effective against, and, since it only showed up in the U.S. this September, scientists were unable to adapt the vaccine in time. Unfortunately, the CDC’s only solution is to recommend taking Tamiflu liberally and early, without waiting for flu test results.