Influenza vaccine clinics to open in time for flu season

Lynette PayneOct 11, 2018

Influenza (a.k.a. the flu) is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization or even death, should circumstances not go your way. Of those 391 deaths, 290 were people age 65 and older and seven were children under the age of 18.

In addition to the single day that the vaccinations were offered, the flu clinic was not extensively advertised to students - two emails were sent out, one on September 28 and another on the day of the clinic. Also, the cost can rise to $70 or more if you get the higher-dose version of vaccine offered to seniors. According to the CDC, last year's flu killed more than 80,000 Americans, including 180 young children and teens - the most deaths since the CDC started keeping track. The largest initiative Boynton Health will handle during the upcoming months is setting up mass flu clinics.

In North Carolina the flu season begins October 1 and runs through May. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to provide full protection.

Each year, vaccines are produced in accordance with the CDC's predictions for the types of viruses most likely to circulate during flu season. If you are ill with a fever it is recommended that you delay the shot until the fever clears.

While that hadn't eventuated here, ESR intelligence group leader Dr Lisa Oakley said many people infected with the flu might not have sought care or have even shown symptoms, meaning the figures were conservative.

"If you are eligible for the flu vaccine get it now - it's free because you need it". These flu shot myths contribute to misinformation about the flu, leading people to not get the shot, which is not only risky for those people who are vulnerable to the flu, but even worse for people who are already immunocompromised and unable to get the shot - and who are relying on others to get the shot to prevent the spread of the disease. Students can also schedule an appointment to receive their vaccinations in the SHS building.

Dr. Chris Freer, chair of emergency medicine for Saint Barnabas Medical Center and system director of RWJBarnabas Health Emergency Services, said he has also seen flu patients come into his facility.

"Flu tends to circulate between September and March".

Of North Carolina's flu victims a year ago, 290 were age 65 and older, and seven were minors under the age 18.

According to CDC officials, while the last flu season was one of the deadliest in the history, vaccinations helped to cut risks for over 40 percent. But in a good year, vaccines may only be 50 to 60 percent effective, according to the CDC.

Although flu experts knew it was a rough season a year ago, they had no idea how bad it actually was.

"Cover your cough, and if you're sick, stay home", said Mansourian-Christakos.

"Our flu season is usually based on the southern hemisphere's season that is just ending, and in the southern hemisphere, they did not have a bad year this year", Bhardwaj said.

Vaccination before December is best since this timing ensures that protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is typically at its highest.

Local nurses said prevention is key. Mostly commonly recommended is covering the mouth when sneezing and frequently washing the hands.

"The flu shot is a dead virus shot".

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