Medical

Are you getting a Flu Shot?

Are you getting a Flu Shot?

Past year there was an estimated 900,000 hospitalizations, and more than 80,000 deaths, according to new data released by the CDC on Thursday. The 2017 flu vaccine turned out to not be very effective, which is one reason for the sudden increase in flu-related deaths. The flu vaccine is formulated each year to keep up with flu viruses as they change. This includes older adult, young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), people who smoke, and people who live in nursing homes.

Flu vaccines are a safe procedure despite some common misconceptions that it causes the flu or other medical complications, said Teri Stevenson, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.

The CDC estimates that the overall efficacy of the seasonal flu vaccine for last season - not needing to seek medical care - was around 40 percent. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against flu virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated early to get protected before flu viruses begin spreading in their community. The cost for a private pay flu shot is $30 for those under age 65 and $50 for those aged 65+.

It's virtually impossible to predict the coming flu season. When people who are already frail they may never return to their pre-flu functional level. Workplaces where personnel were required to get their flus shot had the highest vaccination rates at 95% compared to 48% among settings where vaccination was not required, promoted or offered on site.

As a new flu season gets underway, public health officials say last year's toll underscores the importance of getting a flu vaccine each year.

"The vaccine is not available under six months of age", Stevenson said.




"Think of it, 180 families put a child in a grave past year because of a vaccine-preventable infection", said Dr. Wendy Sue L. Swanson with Seattle Children's Hospital.

The number of deaths last winter is higher than any flu season going back to 1976-1977, before which there is not easily available data, according to the AP. "The best way to protect yourself, regardless of the effectiveness, is with a flu vaccination", Adams said.

"What is it that old and frail people often fear the most?".

Find additional information on flu vaccine on CDC's website. Another factor was low vaccination rates, which not only remained far below what they should have been but also slightly decreased last season. "Flu can lead to progressive decline and progressive disability", said Dr. Schaffner.

For one, the same officials say that this year's vaccine looks to be working well.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.


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