Even if vaccinated, flu is hitting Hoosiers hard

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 29, 2014) - If you got your flu shot but still ended up getting the flu, you’re not alone. This year’s flu shot is proving to be less effective than last year's.

A strain of flu called H3N2 has grown less responsive to the vaccine.

“When they make the flu shot they design it based on predictions of what the flu shot is going to look like next year. This year they didn’t get it quite as correct as previous years. They didn’t predict it as well,” explains Dr. Christopher Huffer with Witham Memorial Hospital.

Doctors are seeing more patients with more severe symptoms. Tracy Hatfield, a nurse at Witham, told us she gets a flu shot every year and has never had the flu. It's a different story this year.

“It started with the cough and then the aches and then I got the fever and was like ‘Yeah I’m pretty sure (I've got it),'” explains Hatfield.

Hospital officials say about half the patients who come in with flu-like symptoms end up being admitted. Huffer told FOX59 although this year’s flu shot is disappointing he is still encouraging people to get it.

“So patients that get the flu that have had the flu shot are less likely to be hospitalized and if they are hospitalized they are less likely to die,” explains Huffer.

So far five Hoosiers have died from the flu; three cases were just reported last week.  All patients were at least 65 years old.

Flu season usually ends in March, but hospital officials told us they’ve seen cases as late as May.