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Immunizations A Priority During National Influenza Week

Immunizations A Priority During National Influenza Week

AHS's statistics also indicate influenza has been somewhat more active earlier in the season than a year ago.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), last season only about 40 percent of those recommended to get a flu vaccine reported getting vaccinated by the end of November. Even with vaccine effectiveness in the range of 30 to 60 percent, flu vaccination prevents millions of illnesses and tens of thousands of flu-related hospitalizations each year.

And there's more bad news, it seems the dominant strain this year will be H3N2, which is a more severe form of the flu.

Deti cautions that the county data is often inaccurate because many people do not go to the doctor when they have the flu and those who do often don't get officially tested and diagnosed.

A flu shot is a vaccination made of inactive flu strains.

"As clinicians in the United States prepare for the start of another influenza season, experts have been watching the Southern Hemisphere winter for hints of what might be in store for us in the north", Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and colleagues wrote in a recent paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Flu and pneumonia are the 8th leading cause of death in the U.S. So far this season, 4 children have died from the flu.

"However imperfect, though, current influenza vaccines remain a valuable public health tool, and it is always better to get vaccinated than not to get vaccinated", the paper said.

It gives me no joy at all to announce this, but flu season is officially here - early.

According to the health department, 35 people have been hospitalized across Ohio.

But the Fauci article points to another possible factor: most flu vaccines are grown in eggs.

You can't get influenza from flu shots, specialists stress.

For needle-phobes, there's a skin-deep vaccine that uses tiny needles, and a needle-free jet injector that shoots another vaccine through the skin. They're especially vulnerable to flu's risky complications because they tend to have more underlying health problems than younger people - and because standard flu shots don't work as well with age-weakened immune systems. The self-pay cost of vaccines is $25 and the high-dose vaccine for people 65 or older cost is $55. But previous year, a baffled CDC said it was no longer protecting against certain influenza strains as well as regular flu shots - and told doctors not to use it.

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