The influenza vaccine is primarily used to prevent serious illness (hospitalizations and death) and is 60% to 80% effective. We do NOT expect everyone who is vaccinated to NEVER have any flu infections/flu symptoms (as is sometimes expected by the public).
Young healthy people may have about 90% protection against infection/symptoms and close to 100% protection from death. People who are elderly, sick or have never been vaccinated in previous years may have around 40-60% protection from symptoms and 70-80% protection from death. (NOTE: These are all rough estimates).
Bottom Line: The flu vaccine is the best tool we have to prevent the flu. We do expect some people who have been vaccinated to get the flu and have some symptoms, but we do not expect many to have serious or life threatening problems.
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