Early reports show the flu vaccine is only about 10% effective.

The flu season is upon us, and experts say this season could be worse than usual. Fever, chills muscle, aches--you know the symptoms. a virus that can take days for you to feel even remotely back to normal, and most of us will do anything to keep it from knocking us out. Doctors say this year's flu vaccine may not be up for the challenge. 

MECKLENBURG COUNTY–  The flu season is upon us, and experts say this season could be worse than usual. Early reports show the flu vaccine is only about 10% effective.

Fever chills muscle, aches–you know the symptoms. a virus that can take days for you to feel even remotely back to normal and most of us will do anything to keep it from knocking us out. Doctors say this year’s flu vaccine may not be up for the challenge.

“What we have to understand is that the virus actually mutates or shifts from year to year,” says Dr. Tony Hyser.

Researchers basically have to guess which strains to include in each year’s vaccine. Making it effective some years, and not so much in others. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, this year, the vaccine is barely hitting double digits in effectiveness. The report is based on how the vaccine worked in Australia. The country saw record-high numbers of flu cases and higher hospitalizations than usual.

“My general take is, we want to try and do things as naturally as possible first and if we can get away with that, that’s what we want to do.”

Dr. Tony says if you don’t want to rely on the vaccine, you can build your immune system. Eat well, get enough sleep, wash your hands, take vitamin d. Khanjari Joshi says the chance of avoiding the flu is worth the odds.

“I just take it as a preventative measure, I don’t know whether I’m going to get the flu shot or not, I mean flu or not. But prevention is better than cure.”

The latest numbers show 12 people in North Carolina have died from the flu this season. The CDC says the vaccine was 42% effective last year, and still recommends everyone over six months old get the vaccine.