This year’s flu shot is protecting about half of the people in the United States who have been vaccinated from getting sick enough from influenza to need medical care, according to new data, suggesting it’s providing moderate levels of protection.

Interim estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate the vaccine offers about 47 percent protection against all influenza infections and 46 percent protection against H1N1 viruses, which are causing the lion’s share of illnesses this year in most parts of the United States. The protection rate against H3N2 viruses, which are the main culprits in the southeastern U.S., is 44 percent.

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