It's an influenza A virus known as H3N2, the most deadly of the two influenza A viruses and two types of influenza B viruses that are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. "That particular strain, the Singapore strain, does seem to do a better job of covering circulating viruses than the one we have this year", Webby said. So if 100 in 1,000 unvaccinated people develop flu, the number would drop to 90 in 1,000 among vaccinated people - a very small difference in flu risk between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
Seventeen children were reported killed by the flu this week, bringing the total this winter to 114, more than the past two flu seasons, USA Today reports.
In the U.S., the season seemed to peak in early February, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.
"We do know that the vaccine is worth getting", Schuchat said.
Ultimately, the World Health Organization meeting mostly reiterated the problems with the vaccine technologies and discussed changes in how to make vaccines for flu. "So people should still get a flu shot".
So Skowronski wasn't surprised by the dismal data.
At the flu season's peak in January, 35 percent of flu tests in OR were coming back positive. Flu vaccine effectiveness can vary by country, and the U.S. flu vaccine effectiveness data has yet to be published, but the Canadian study is telling. And that's not easy.
Iran criticised for detaining 35 women at football match
Iran said the women were not arrested but rather held temporarily and would be released after the match, the BBC reported. Syrian women were, however, provided with access to the venue to cheer for the their national team.
It's still not entirely clear why this season has been such a bad one in the U.S., Schuchat said.
The potential for error here can dramatically alter the effectiveness of the flu shot in a given season.
This year's influenza virus has been particularly hard to fight, as new strains pop up as the season wears on, making it tough to mass-produce an effective vaccine.
Having a less-than-optimal flu vaccine doesn't help. But significantly higher than the 10 percent Australians experienced this season. The FDA requires that vaccines be grown in chicken eggs, but some strains, like this year's H3N2 don't grow well in eggs. "Then they don't pass the flu around at school". "There's still time for activity to increase", Valiani explained. While flu vaccines developed with more modern (cell-based and recombinant) methods of production have been licensed in the USA, it's not yet clear they are more protective against flu than the egg-based vaccines. The doctor added there were other factors that crippled her immune system to fight the flu effectively. "What we're seeing here is a little bit more of an up and staying up".
"It's mostly this season there really was a problem with the virus that was circulating - H3N2 - and a less-than-ideal vaccine as well", Webby said.
"If people haven't been convinced by what they've seen so far this flu season, I don't know what will convince them", Morrow said.
Scientists want to create a flu vaccine that lasts a lifetime.