The 2008 flu season has been one of the worst in several years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Part of the reason, health officials say, is that this year's crop of flu vaccine has been less effective than usual.

"Most of the circulating influenza viruses this season have been less than optimally matched to the viruses in the vaccine," said Dan Jernigan, Deputy Director of the CDC Influence Division.

Comment: In other words, the flu vaccine is worthless. Not only that, it contains a host of toxic substances, the most significant of which is mercury. Why are the government and media still pushing so hard to get it in the vein of as many people as possible?

"Influenza A H3N2, one of the two types of Influenza A, and Influenza A H1N1, the other type of Influenza A and Influenza B viruses have been co-circulating in the United States this year. H3N2 viruses, however, are the predominant virus that we have seen this year," he said.

An analysis performed by a Wisconsin lab told CDC researchers that two of the three circulating strains of flu were not effectively countered by the vaccine, meaning some people who got flu shots came down with the flu anyway.

The CDC researchers realized that two of the three circulating strains of flu this season did not match the strains contained in the vaccine, based on results of a study done in Marshfield, Wisc.

The CDC began working with the Marshfield Clinic in central Wisconsin to gauge the effectiveness of influenza vaccines during the flu season. Almost all people in Marshfield receive their health care from the clinic, according to a report in the April 18 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In terms of this year's influenza activity, Jernigan says the 2007-2008 influenza season has peaked, but health officials are continuing to see some influenza activity, and know from previous years that influenza viruses can continue to circulate into May.

Jernigan says flu outbreaks appear to be at the high end compared with the last three seasons.

"One of those measurements is pneumonia and influenza deaths that we monitor, and those numbers of death peaked at 9.1 percent," Jernigan said. "The number of these deaths have exceeded the epidemic threshold for 13 consecutive weeks so far this year.

"At this point, the 2007/2008 season appears to be most similar to the 2003/2004 season and that season was characterized as moderately severe with the percentage of pneumonia and influenza deaths peaking at 10.4 percent and exceeding the epidemic threshold for nine consecutive weeks."

Jeanne Santoli, Deputy Director of the CDC's Immunization Services Division, says there were six manufacturers who were licensed to produce vaccine for the U.S., and these manufacturers together produced a record amount of influenza vaccine approximately 140 million doses. This is about 20 million doses more than were produced in the prior season.

"We know that approximately a 113 million doses of that vaccine were distributed," Santoli said. "This is more vaccine that has been distributed in the U.S. in a single season before and it is about 10 million more doses than were distributed in the last season."

Looking ahead, Santoli said she anticipates that next season's vaccine supply will be similar or somewhat increased to what we had available this season. But, CDC will be receiving projections to understand that better from influenza vaccine manufacturers some time in the next month.