Each year millions are sickened, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and tens of thousands actually die from influenza and its complications. After the vaccine is administered, it can take up to two weeks for antibodies to develop to protect against the flu.
The strains of influenza covered by the vaccine vary from year to year; the composition of each year's vaccine is based on recommendations from the World Health Organization, said Kayla DeBusk, a vaccine accountability specialist with the Spokane Regional Health District. In the U.S., Jernigan said this year's shots aren't ideal but the H3N2 strain traveling around the globe hasn't significantly changed, so the vaccine remains a pretty good match.
Data released Thursday showed that while there were slight increases in the vaccination rates among people most vulnerable to the flu - adults over age 50 - there were "mostly stagnant vaccination rates among all age groups", according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
What is the time frame in which people should get a flu shot, and are there age parameters or other recommendations that people should be aware of?
Surgeries including Great Oakley, Woodsend, The Studfall Partnership and Lakeside Healthcare will be all offering Saturday flu clinics in September and October. There is a high-dose version of the flu shot for patients 65 yrs. and older.
Flu vaccine supplies are sent to licensed facilities starting in August and continue until they're gone - typically in late October.
A person with flu may be contagious and infect others before they even feel sick. A slight reaction, including flu-like symptoms, is common, but it's much milder than the flu. Can the flu shot help prevent or decrease the symptoms of a strain of influenza that isn't specifically covered by the vaccine?
But Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, stressed that "100 percent of health care workers should be vaccinated". "Your recommendations are crucial to motivating patients to get vaccinated".
Flu vaccines will be readily available any day at any of the clinics across the state and they are free.
"The nasal mist vaccine was proven to be ineffective", said Dr. Audrey Stevenson, the Salt Lake County Division Director of Family Health Services. Here's all you need to know if you're considering getting the flu jab...
A vaccine now can protect against various strains of the virus once flu season really reaches full swing later this fall and winter.
The CDC says people who get flu shots have a 40 to 60 percent lower chance of getting seriously ill than the unvaccinated.
You can contact your local health department to see if they offer the influenza vaccine and at what time.
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