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Flu vaccine just 36% effective this season, CDC reports

​(CNN)Flu season is still raging in the United States, yet already it ranks among the most difficult in recent years. One reason: This year's vaccine has been just 36% effective against both A and B virus strains, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in Thursday's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

"You're 36% less likely to get the flu and see the doctor if you get a flu shot," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday.

"If a young child gets a flu shot, he or she is 59% less likely to get the virus and have to go to the doctor," Azar said. "Getting the flu shot is the same kind of sensible precaution as buckling your seat belt. If you got the flu shot but you end up catching the flu, it could be less severe and less likely to land you in the hospital."