“Even if you don’t get sick from the flu, but by you getting the vaccine you could potentially protect other people as well”, Itskowitz said.
Friday morning, the health department is offering free flu shots for everyone in Madison County.
CDC also recommends the vaccine for ages six months and older, loosely translated: Everyone. Those people include children age six months to 18 years, pregnant women, people 50 years and older, anyone with chronic medical conditions and people who live in nursing homes.
The vaccine this year is better matched to the flu strains which are expected to be circulating – unlike last year’s jab, which had only partial protection against the H3N2 strain. So is the annual flu vaccine.
Like Dr. Lana, health experts at the CDC say the Flu is hard to predict: new strains don’t give much advanced noticed. Really, now is the flawless time to get your influenza vaccine.
Gray said that it can be tough to tell when flu season starts, but he recommends getting your vaccine as soon as possible to be safe.
According to statistics from the CDC, between five and twenty percent of the US population will contract the flu virus each year.
“We don’t have the same circumstances that we had past year”, said State Epidemiologist Dr. Lisa Miller.
The Quadrivalent vaccine which covers four strains of flu will cost $26. “The 2014-2015 season had a highest hospitalization rate among seniors that we’ve ever documented”, he said. Also, if you become ill with the flu, it can make your symptoms less severe.
“I’ve already received a few lab reports, and reports from walk-ins, that they’re already starting to see people with flu-like illness”, Communicable Disease Nurse Marianne Yourdon said. “In the face of persistent disparities in influenza vaccination coverage – especially among adults – this initiative reflects our ongoing commitment to expanding access to important preventive services for our most vulnerable and underserved communities”.