Public health officials are gearing up to make sure last year’s flu season stays in last season. The surprise strain of the flu began spreading widely after the vaccine doses were already brewed, meaning the flu vaccine was only 13% effective against the mutated strain. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that the flu strains spreading around the world right now indicate that the vaccine they have prepared for this year will be effective.
Only about half of Americans get an annual flu shot. However, the flu kills about 24,000 people every year in the US. According to the CDC, everybody needs to get the flu shot starting at 6 months old. The flu is the most dangerous for children, pregnant women, young children, and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma or heart disease. However, we all need to be protected from this virus.
Flu season is at its highest between December and February, but there’s no knowing when the outbreaks will begin so it’s best to get vaccinated as soon as possible. If you’re concerned about which kind to choose, worry no more. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC says, “It doesn’t matter which flu vaccine you get, just get one.”
This vaccine takes about two weeks to kick in, so don’t keep putting it off. Make sure you get your flu shot today!