Now that summer has passed, flu season is knocking at our doors, and public health authorities are concerned that the recommendations made earlier this year will turn into a fewer number of people getting flu protected

The Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) authorities have prevented people from using nasal spray instead of the flu shot. So it is time people start thinking where to get this year’s flu shot since the vaccine continues to be the best way to protect ourselves from this disease especially children, pregnant women and people over 60 years or more.

Since the flu season is about to begin, citizens are being advised to take care of their health and prevent the virus from initiating their flu shots. Photo credit: My Cowichan Valley Now

“If we could increase vaccination coverage in this country by just five percent more, that would prevent about 800,000 illnesses and nearly 10,000 hospitalizations,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at the annual National Foundation for Infectious Diseases press conference on flu vaccines on Thursday.

“Flu vaccine is one of the best buys in public health”

Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and November, it generally peaks between December and March. But flu is sometimes underestimated, even Dr- Frieden said that many Americans don’t take it seriously and don’t get the annual vaccine.

The truth is that yearly the influenza is responsible for sickening hundreds of thousands of people in America. It sends them to the hospital. Every year, it kills about 24.000 people in the U.S. including 100 children, according to the CDC. It is more dangerous when it affects young kids, pregnant women, older people and people which live with certain conditions such as lung cancer or heart disease.

Therefore, the best way to prevent influenza is by the flu shot, scientists say. As well, it is recommended to get it before the flu season starts, since it takes about two weeks to fully protect our organisms; however, it can be tricky because getting the shot too early may result in less protection at the end of the season. On this, Frieden said on Thursday that data is not clear on the subject, given how difficult it is to say if the season is going to be severe or when it will peak. The vaccine is not perfect, but he recommends people not to forget to get the flu shot and not to postpone it. The flu shot can reduce the flu risk in about 50 to 60 percent.

“Any time you defer, the tendency is to forget about it,” he said. “Flu vaccine is one of the best buys in public health”.

Vaccine use can be reduced because of the absent of the mist

The CDC has always recommended the shot to prevent flu for everyone who ages more than 6 months. However, during the 2014-2015 season they dared to recommend the nasal spray vaccine for young children. However, the nasal spray, FluMist, didn’t protect the kids for the third year in a row, and the expert panel on vaccines said last June that it shouldn’t be used for the flu seasons to come. Now, authorities are concerned that the vaccination rates are lower since the mist is no longer available.

Source: The Daily Journal