New Flu Shot Being Made To Protect Against Several New Strains

Sneezing coughing, runny noses and of course, the body aches. That nasty flu virus is still spreading.

Thursday morning, Sara Housley got the dreaded phone call from her son's school nurse.

"Not feeling well, lethargic, he started having a little bit of breathing trouble," said Housley.

"I do know a lot of people have had the flu shot and they're still getting the flu," said Christine Powell, M.D., Trinity Mother Frances.

That's because, according to the Centers For Disease Control, this year's flu vaccine only protects against 40% of viruses.

"Picking a vaccine is a little bit difficult cause we have to do it 9 months in advance," said Richard Viken, M.D. at U.T Health Center.  "That's somewhat like predicting the weather nine months in advance."

Thursday federal health advisers recommended a new recipe for next year's vaccine that will hopefully provide better protection against three new strains.

"This year there seems to have crept in a strain from Australia, the A strain, that's about 30% resistant to whatever we put in to our vaccine," said Viken.

The flu season can last through April, so doctors advise you to wash and sanitize constantly, avoid sharing food or drinks, take any prescribed medicines, and, if you haven't already, get a flu shot. It's not too late and this year's vaccine can at least make flu symptoms less severe.

"They can get one now for 15 dollars," said Powell.  "We had a lot of extra shots and now they have the new nasal flu. If more parents did that I think we'd have a decrease in the flu."

Flu vaccine manufacturers are trying to produce more than 100 million new doses by the Fall.

Courtney Lane, Reporting