Flu vaccine less effective this year

EOHW offers shots until the end of flu season, usually early April, but the compliance deadline for health systems employees to get their shot is 12:01 a.m. November 1.

"Flu season starts in October and can last till May with peak months being December to February", said Rhonda Capuano, Trumbull Health Department Director of Health.

"The recommendation for vaccination of pregnant women against influenza has not changed", Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mary McIntyre said.

The provisional end of season data published by Public Health England (PHE) also shows that the vaccine reduced the risk of flu in adults aged under 65 years with long-term conditions by 40% in 2016/17, which is within the expected range. Like it did in 2016, the CDC is recommending the spray flu vaccine, also known as the live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV, not be used this year.

A vaccine being trialled in the Northern Hemisphere that can be inhaled could also be available in future years if found to be effective.

A shot now will offer protection through the entire flu season.

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People who have experienced only hives after exposure to egg can get any licensed flu vaccine that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health.

More than 98,000 cases of flu have been reported in Australia this season with scores of deaths, including an eight-year-old girl last week.

The cost for a flu vaccination at a county health department clinic is $30 for adults and children.

If you do not qualify for a flu vaccination at the Division of Health, please visit your primary care physician or neighborhood pharmacy to receive one. The CDC notes that risk is much lower than the risk of developing severe flu complications. "Medicare covers the shot", said Aimee Haskins, RN, Medicare ACO coordinator with Memorial Regional Health. The person who comes down with the flu is contagious from the day before they get sick to nearly 7 days after.

Children are vulnerable, as the bad death of an eight-year-old girl in Melbourne showed this week, and are also carriers of the virus. It's right around the corner and right now doctors are stressing the importance of getting vaccinated.

"Hand hygiene is really important because often these things are spread from hand hygiene and the cough etiquette that I described actually prevents you from getting influenza virus on your hands, which is actually really more important that airborne transmission".


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