The CDC says this year's flu vaccine offers less protection because the current strain of the virus has mutated. However, CDC officials still encourage people of all ages to get their flu shot since the vaccine can decrease the severity of the illness. The federal health agency issued an advisory Wednesday on how half of the flu virus samples analyzed through late November were different than the virus strains included in this year's flu shot.
The most common strain reported this flu season has been linked to more hospitalizations and deaths, especially among young children, the elderly and those with chronic health issues. During the 2012-2013 flu season, more than 12-thousand people who got the flu had to be hospitalized. The CDC says nearly all of the 150 children who died during that flue season had not received the flu vaccine.