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Indiana flu death rate rises to 61

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Saturday, March 2, 2013 - 8:35 am

INDIANAPOLIS — Flu-related deaths have risen to 61 in Indiana, an increase of three from last week.

State health officials released a statement Friday saying this season's flu vaccine is less effective than originally thought. The vaccine has a 56 percent overall effectiveness rate for children and adults up to age 64. For those 65 and older, the vaccine is only 9 percent effective.

State Health Commissioner William VanNess says the flu vaccine is not perfect, but it is still the best method for preventing the flu. He also notes that the vaccine can significantly reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

This season's deaths include 45 people who were age 65 or older. Fifty-eight of those who died had underlying medical conditions.