Flu shot's 'crystal ball' science still best bet against influenza
The seasonal flu shot is designed by the world's top scientists who have access to a global network of influenza data — but at the end of the day, it's still just guesswork.
Most of the time, they get it right. Other times, like last year in Canada, they miss the mark completely.
Still, medical experts say it is our best defence against a virus that kills thousands of Canadians every year.
"People will be a bit cavalier about the flu, but in fact, it is a significant illness for people and even fatal for some," Joshua Tepper, a family physician and CEO of Health Quality Ontario, told CBC News.
An estimated 12,500 people are admitted to hospital each year for complications arising from the flu and about 3,500 die, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
"The flu vaccine remains the first line of defence," Tepper said. "Even when it's not a perfect match, it still offers protection, and there's very little downside."
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