Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

This year's flu shot is working well

Flu shot
Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

This flu season is shaping up to be a lot milder than last year's nightmare, and scientists attribute that in large part to a more effective vaccine.

The big picture: This year's flu shot is about 47% effective against the dominant strain of influenza, per NBC News. Last year's shot was 36% effective at this interim stage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that somewhere between 9,600 and 15,900 people have died from the flu since Oct. 1. That puts this flu season on pace to be a lot less deadly than last year's, when 80,000 people died.

Measles outbreak is bringing vaccine exemptions into spotlight

Illustration of school children standing in a room with one red, contagious student
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The federal government may try to take action if states don't tighten their vaccine exemption laws and measles continues to spread in sections of the U.S., FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tells Axios.

Driving the news: Overall case numbers of measles remain low in the U.S. but the disease is growing in areas of high non-vaccination rates. Some states like Washington are considering tightening their exemptions even as they continue to face a more organized anti-vaccination movement.

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