Parish Health Units offering flu shots next week

Flu shots are still available for this season.					Luke Hendry  Postmedia

National Influenza Vaccination Week is scheduled during the first week of December to remind people the importance of continuing the flu vaccination through the holiday's season and beyond.

Following that group, the vaccine should be prioritized for otherwise healthy people over the age of 65 and then healthcare personnel and others who come in contact with people with severe immune deficiencies.

"We're struggling a little bit by the perception that flu is not really a deadly disease, which of course we know it is", he said. The other patient who died from the virus was between 50-years-old and 64-years-old. The CDC recommends flu vaccination for most people over the age of 6 months.

We Americans had the best tool readily available to reduce these numbers by untold thousands. Now that the new flu season is already underway, the medical community is still urging the unvaccinated members of the public to get immunized. The decrease in the number of people getting an annual flu shot may be contributing to more people getting the flu.

The two main factors in the effectiveness of the vaccine is the health of the patient and the match between the influenza viruses that the influenza vaccine is created to protect against and the influenza viruses spreading in the community. Most people have likely had the flu at some point - with symptoms such as a constant cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue - yet many myths and misperceptions remain.

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Mitchell says because she had never been prone to illness, she didn't get a flu shot. The vaccine uses a killed virus, and every batch is checked to ensure this.

"We've got to keep in mind that it's still very, very early, and even at this time previous year, there hadn't been a huge amount of activity either", said Webby, a member of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's Department of Infectious Diseases. This is a particularly virulent, shape-shifting strain that can mutate even while the vaccine is being incubated in eggs. Save yourself the risk this flu season and get vaccinated.

Serious reactions to the flu vaccine are rare.

During the 2017-18 flu season, the CDC estimated that the flu caused 49 million illnesses, 960,000 hospitalizations and 79,000 deaths.

Editor's Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column shows a nurse giving a flu shot.

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