How effective is this year’s flu shot?

/ CBS News

How effective is this year's flu vaccine?

The United States is in the middle of flu season and new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this year's flu vaccine appears to be working. The CDC estimates the vaccine has reduced the risk of going to the doctor for flu-related illness by 47 percent overall this season. The effectiveness is even higher among children between the ages of 6 months and 17 years old, with the vaccine reducing doctors' visits by 61 percent.

"Numbers can change between now and at the end of the season. The important thing is the vaccine is providing some protection against the viruses that are circulating," Dr. Brendan Flannery of the CDC told CBS News.

The CDC says the predominant strain of the virus so far this season is H1N1 in most of the country, although a strain called H3N2 is predominant in the southeast.

Even though flu activity is lower than it was at this point last year, the illness is still responsible for somewhere between 155,000 and 186,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 to 16,000 deaths nationwide.

"That puts it on track to be a season with a substantial number of deaths that's likely to rise," Flannery said. "We also see 28 pediatric deaths so far this season, that's also unfortunately likely to rise."

Last season, the CDC estimated 80,000 Americans died of the flu and its complications. That was the deadliest toll in 40 years.

Health officials said that after a slow start, flu activity has been picking up in the past few weeks and is now the highest it's been all season. Experts stress if you haven't received a flu shot yet, there is still time to get one.

You can also help avoid illnesses like the flu by following these guidelines from the CDC:

First published on February 14, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

How effective is this year’s flu shot?

New data from the CDC estimates the effectiveness of this year's flu vaccine

updated 4M ago

Shutdown watch: Senate passes border bill, Trump to declare emergency – live updates

The Senate passed the bill Thursday afternoon, and the House is expected to pass it in the evening

updated 6M ago

Trump in "very good health overall," White House doctor says

The president was examined by a teams of specialists over the course of four hours at Walter Reed on Friday

updated 17M ago

Dad whose son was murdered in Parkland: “We came to this country to be safe”

Manuel Oliver's son Joaquin was shot dead a year ago while attending high school in Parkland, Florida

updated 25M ago

How to watch the Daytona 500 this Sunday

The Great American Race kicks of the NASCAR season

updated 35M ago

Shutdown watch: Senate passes border bill, Trump to declare emergency – live updates

The Senate passed the bill Thursday afternoon, and the House is expected to pass it in the evening

updated 6M ago

Trump in "very good health overall," White House doctor says

The president was examined by a teams of specialists over the course of four hours at Walter Reed on Friday

updated 17M ago

Dad whose son was murdered in Parkland: “We came to this country to be safe”

Manuel Oliver's son Joaquin was shot dead a year ago while attending high school in Parkland, Florida

updated 25M ago

Senate passes bill to fund government, avert shutdown

The measure is also expected to pass in the House and signed into law by President Trump

1H ago

GOP lawmakers blast McCabe for comments in "60 Minutes" interview

Republicans balked at fired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe after his explosive interview with CBS News

1H ago

Immigration advocates sue DHS and others over "Remain in Mexico" policy

The initiative is possibly the biggest change to immigration policy implemented by the Trump administration

1H ago

Pompeo: Trump administration doing "everything" it can to free Americans in Iran

"We're having conversations with all the people who have the ability to help get them back," Pompeo said

updated 30M ago

Duchess shines light on dangers of osteoporosis

Camilla, 71, opened up about her late mother Rosalind, who died of the bone disease in 1994

3H ago

Human foot found on Canadian coastline — the 15th since 2007

Authorities are seeking help identifying a foot found inside a Nike sneaker

1H ago

Pompeo refuses to say if he believes CIA on Khashoggi killing

Dismissing the question as "ridiculous," Pompeo says U.S. will hold "each individual accountable" for the murder, but current "fact sets" don't implicate crown prince

9H ago

Alfonso Cuarón on the personal trauma he channeled into "Roma"

The black and white foreign film with a largely unknown cast has become an unlikely Oscar front-runner.

5H ago

Ryan Adams accused of emotional abuse, sexual misconduct

In one allegation, a 20-year-old female musician said Ryan Adams, 44, had inappropriate conversations with her while she was 15 and 16

1H ago

These A-listers are the most stylish stars, according to People

Ahead of the Academy Awards, People has released its list that also includes Emma Stone, Nicole Kidman, Donald Glover

23H ago

Disney reveals first look at "Frozen 2"

Fans get their first look at the highly-anticipated "Frozen 2," and it appears the cast is far from where they started

Feb 13

3 women share role of Cher on Broadway. They call it "Cherapy."

The lead role is played by three actresses who represent the different stages of Cher's life

Feb 13

El Niño has arrived. What does it mean for the weather?

After several months on the edge, we're officially under an El Niño advisory

updated 44M ago

Dating apps expose lovebirds to scams and hackers

Mobile apps have transformed the dating experience but they can also expose sensitive information to fraudsters

6H ago

Solar jobs are on the decline — the industry blames Trump

U.S. tariffs have cast a shadow on what until recently had been one of the country's hottest job sectors

7H ago

California governor: Consumers should get paid a "digital dividend"

The idea is sparking debate about a tax on tech companies or a refund to customers who share their data with Facebook and others

8H ago

Hackers are stealing medical records – and selling them on the dark web

How easy is it for criminals to get hold of these patient files? It only took a few seconds

9H ago

How effective is this year’s flu shot?

New data from the CDC estimates the effectiveness of this year's flu vaccine

updated 4M ago

Could diet soda raise a woman's stroke risk?

New research looks at the possible connection between diet sodas​ or artificially sweetened fruit juices and heart health

updated 40M ago

Duchess shines light on dangers of osteoporosis

Camilla, 71, opened up about her late mother Rosalind, who died of the bone disease in 1994

3H ago

Hackers are stealing medical records – and selling them on the dark web

How easy is it for criminals to get hold of these patient files? It only took a few seconds

9H ago

CDC warns about potentially contaminated raw milk

A dangerous drug-resistant bacteria is connected the consumption of raw milk​ in 19 states

Feb 13

Tax refunds are lower for second week in a row

Returns are being processed more slowly, and the average refund is about $185 below its level last year

1H ago

Federal revenue fell in first year after U.S. tax overhaul

The government is taking in less money from businesses and individuals even as the economy is expanding

3H ago

Virgin founder Richard Branson says the rich may need "heavy taxes"

If wealthy can't make capitalism work for more people, "we deserve to have very heavy taxes," philanthropist says

5H ago

Amazon cancels New York City headquarters

E-commerce giant had faced fierce opposition for a planned New York location projected to cost $3 billion in incentives

1H ago

Romance scams break hearts and bust bank accounts

"I was just ready to be in love" — music to the ears of a swindler looking to con someone out of her cash

6H ago

"Since Parkland" profiles 1,200 kids killed by guns

More than 200 teen reporters told the stories of young lives lost to bullets

updated 52M ago

Persons of interest ID'd in alleged attack on "Empire" actor

The "Empire" actor gives a detailed account to "Good Morning America," says attack left him "forever changed"

4H ago

Apple lawyer who oversaw insider trading policy charged with insider trading

Former attorney at the tech giant allegedly drew on non-public earnings information to cash in

Feb 13

Gunman kills wife at dentist's office, gets shot by bystander

Armed bystander shoots gunman, detains him, waits for police to arrive, police say

Feb 13

White supremacist gang in Arkansas accused of brutal tactics

Group called "reprehensible in its admiration for Nazi imagery and racist views, but even more alarming are the crimes and violence perpetrated by these defendants"

Feb 13