It’s that time of the year when we need to start taking flu vaccine seriously if we care about our health and that of people around us.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is already stepping up the campaign for the flu vaccine. Health officials are constantly recommending that everyone gets vaccinated against the influenza virus to avoid serious public health concerns.
It is expected that the two camps will become vocal once more. On one hand, the camp that upholds the importance of the flu vaccine, on the other the camp that still believes the flu vaccine, particularly when administered to children leads to the development of autism spectrum disorders, as well as other development conditions. However, with no real studies and evidence to back these theories, such fear-mongering is counterproductive.
The numbers should speak for themselves. Last year, due to poor vaccination and the modification of the influenza strain which rendered the flu vaccine slightly powerless in the face of H3N2, 145 children died. Senior U.S. citizens took hospitals by storm, being admitted with flu-related symptoms. To avoid this from happening once more, Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging U.S. citizens to get the flu vaccine.
This year, the flu vaccine has also been modified in order to better protect against last year’s predominant strain, H3N2. Based on careful global monitoring, this enhancement is expected to hold this modified influenza strain at bay. Last year, the flu vaccine was specifically designed to fight H1N1. This year health officials expect that H3N2 will return and be more prevalent among the existing influenza strains.
Typically, the flu vaccine has a success rate of 50 to 60 percent. Still, it is the only way to combat the flu. Last year, the rate of success against H1N1 and B varied from 50 to 60 percent, while in the case of H3N2 it was poorly effective, at only 13 percent.
Once more, it’s time to take the flu vaccine seriously. According to CDC experts, everyone above 6 months needs to get the flu vaccine. Children under nine years of age might even require two doses.
Useful information: the flu vaccine comes both as an injection and as a nasal spray. The injection is in fact a weakened form of the influenza virus and may cause very mild symptoms upon administration. However, it doesn’t lead to flu. People suffering from severe allergies should consult with their doctor beforehand.
The nasal spray, FluMist is recommended for people between the age of 2 and 49. Pregnant women are recommended to keep away. Nonetheless, children between the age of 2 and 8 might prefer this option much more than the injection.
Start considering your options, take flu vaccine seriously and head to the nearest medical center.
Photo Credits: Torange