Now is a good time to get your flu shot

A patient receives a seasonal flu shot at a health clinic in Elmsdale

A patient receives a seasonal flu shot at a health clinic in Elmsdale

The North Dakota Department of Health is gearing up for what may be an "unpredictable" flu season this year.

There were record-breaking hospitalizations for the flu in metro Atlanta last flu season - more than 3,000 hospitalizations.

The flu isn't that serious.

"We fully acknowledge that the flu vaccine is not as effective as many of our other vaccines", said the medical examiner. For individuals with a weakened immune system, the flu can be life threatening.

Millions of people get sick with the flu every year and as observed in the previous flu season, even those who are deemed as healthy people can still fall ill and die from the flu.

The quadrivalent vaccine contains two strains of Flu A and two strains of Flu B, as recommended by WHO. Every year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has to choose the strain of the flu virus that would be put into the flu shot. Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a spokeswoman for the AAP and a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital, says that the organization is still not taking chances and all children must still get the shots with spray kept in reserve for special cases only.

It takes two weeks for the body to build immunity after getting the flu vaccine.

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A newly-available flu vaccine this winter could prevent 700 deaths, over 2,000 hospitalisations and 30,000 GP consultations in those aged 65 and over in England.

Of those, 38.9 per cent of children in that age group were immunized past year and 16.4 per cent of pregnant women got the vaccine.

The vaccine this year is a new, improved one. However, gender appears to have a significant impact on the efficacy of the influenza vaccine as well according to a study entitled "Should sex be considered as an effect modifier in the evaluation of influenza vaccine effectiveness?" published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases. It's best to get the shot, odds are it will protect you better than not getting it. He never even needed to get out of his vehicle.

It's impossible to predict how bad this year's flu season will be.

"Influenza vaccine is starting to trickle in, there's also flu mis available this year".

Fact #8 - the flu season typically begins in December and can last until May, that's a good six months where you may be at risk of contracting the flu.

As the next flu season approaches Nova Scotia, Strang will continue to monitor the Southern Hemisphere's current mild flu season as it moves west to east for indications of what's to come. Based on CDC recommendations, late October is actually the optimal time to get the flu vaccine because it takes about two weeks for the body to develop the antibodies that protect against the flu, and the developed immune response tends to decline over time.

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