Doctor Urge Early Vaccinations As Flu Season Approaches

Health officials working to make flu shot more effective

Fall may have just started, but that doesn't mean it isn't time to start thinking about getting your seasonal influenza vaccine.

In an interview with the Associated Press Tuesday, the director of the CDC said an estimated 80,000 Americans died of the flu and complications related to it last winter. Flu activity traditionally begins to increase in October and can last as late as May, with cases typically peaking between December and February.

Influenza is a serious infection that kills many each year and older adults and young children are particularly vulnerable.

'This is a flu vaccine that will significantly boost the effectiveness of the vaccine for people aged 65 and over, ' Dr Diggle said.

Convenience plays a big role in ensuring as many people as possible get a shot.

Private manufacturers, which produce the vaccine, have projected needing between 163 million and 168 million doses of injectable vaccine for the US market for the 2018-2019 flu season.

Flu vaccines that were not wholly effective exacerbated the problem, but Redfield told AP that he'd still "like to see more people get vaccinated".

Vaccines are offered by many doctor's offices, clinics, health departments, and pharmacies. This means the flu vaccine reduced a person's risk of having to seek medical care by 40%, the CDC found. The estimate of 80,000 deaths a year ago, still considered preliminary, eclipses the estimates for every flu season going back to the winter of 1976-1977.

The makeup of the vaccine has been changed this year to try to better protect against expected strains. Estimates for many earlier seasons were not readily available.

"I think a lot of people had a bad experience previous year", she said. Vaccines typically come in trivalent (protecting against three viruses - two A-strains and one B-strain) or quadrivalent (protecting against four strains - two A-strains and two B-strains). But the vaccine has been tweaked to better match circulating strains, including getting an updated H3N2 component.

Those who do miss out on the early shots, however, should get one when they can.

As of September 9, Australia is experiencing a mild flu season with person-to-person transmission of flu-like illness "increasing slowly" since July, according to that nation's most recent surveillance report.

Health officials say the vaccine protects against four different strains of the flu virus.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Fed raises interest rates, flags end of 'accommodative' policy
Unemployment is expected to stay relatively steady through 2021, it said, with projections of 3.5 percent -3.7 percent. These gains have sent up the index by 0.25 per cent, raising hopes it could post its first monthly rise in six months.

Blue Origin gets boost with Vulcan contract
The reusable heavy lift rocket is being manufactured at Blue Origin's new facility near Kennedy Space Center's Exploration Park. The move is interesting because, like United Launch Alliance , Blue Origin also wants to launch stuff for the military.

Aust to face Bosnia in Davis Cup qualifier
Eighteen teams will take part in the revamped 2019 Davis Cup finals, which will be staged in Lille or Madrid next November. That left two spots for wildcards selected by the organisers and they have chosen Argentina and Britain.

Securities And Exchange Commission Sues Elon Musk
By doing so, he "caused significant confusion and disruption in the market for Tesla's stock and resulting harm to investors". I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors", Musk told NPR in an emailed statement.

'Many dead' in Indonesia quake-tsunami: search and rescue agency
Earlier Friday, a 6.1 magnitude quake killed one person, injured several others and damaged dozens of homes, according to the AP. The quake hit around 6 p.m. on Friday. "The situation is chaotic, people are running on the streets and buildings collapsed".

Other news