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FOX Medical Team

How much protection does a flu shot offer?

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ATLANTA -

The flu season continues to heat up with 47 states now reporting geographically widespread flu. But flu infections in Georgia may have peaked. So just how much protection will your flu shot offer you?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director said on Friday that this year's vaccine is 62 percent effective for all age groups. That's about what they've seen in past years.

Dr. Tom Frieden says the flu vaccine is far from perfect, but it's still your best protection.

The CDC says this year's vaccine covers about 90 percent of the flu strains making people sick.

Atlanta OBGYN Dawn Mandeville says she's seeing more than a few pregnant women who are at higher risk of flu complications coming in with telltale signs of flu.

The key is to start treatment quickly.

"Supportive care is key. Hydration, making sure that they can take the appropriate medicines to try to get them through it.  Nothing can cure it really.  Our goal is to try get them through it as safely and as healthfully as possible," said Mandeville.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says the state is now in the middle of a flu epidemic, with the flu season here hitting harder than it has in a decade. So far, two adults have died of flu-related complications.

But there is some good news

Because flu season hit about five weeks earlier than usual in Georgia and across the South, the number of flu infections may be dropping in our area.

But flu is notoriously unpredictable.

The CDC says we won't know for another week or two, whether flu season here has peaked and the worst may be behind us.

That 62 effectiveness is about on par with other seasonal flu vaccines.

The CDC recommends flu shots for everyone six months and older, and Dr. Frieden says it's not too late to get a shot, but the vaccine is becoming harder to find. You may have to call around to see who has vaccine.

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