Why This Year's Subpar Flu Shot Can Still Save Your Life

Some protection is better than none, experts say.

“There is not just one strain of flu out there,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. “During the season, other flu strains will become active and we anticipate that they will match up with the vaccine.”

“It’s designed to protect against three or four different strains, so a lot of people will be protected as the epidemic evolves,” he said.

Schaffner also speculated that even if the shot doesn't match up exactly with all strains of the virus, it may lessen the symptoms and duration of illness.

"It could potentially save lives, especially the lives of children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups," he said.

Besser said for the past four years flu season has been arriving earlier and earlier and that is a worrying trend.

“It seems to be peaking at the end of December and it used to be it did not peak until February or March,” he said.