Medical

Yavapai County Community Health Services schedules flu-shot clinics in Verde Valley

Yavapai County Community Health Services schedules flu-shot clinics in Verde Valley

This season many health officials will be using the Flublok vaccine, which we're told is stronger than traditional vaccines and covers multiple flu strains.

Last winter's flu season was the worst since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking the severity of influenza outbreaks each year.

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How can you get your flu shot? Kari O'Driscoll, a mother of two in Washington state, said she doesn't get the flu shot because she and her kids are healthy, and she doesn't think they would suffer dramatic health effects if they got sick. Its vaccine, created with genetic sequencing and grown with tobacco, can be retrofitted to immunize against nearly any virus so long as its DNA can be obtained. In fact, numerous rumored side effects you've probably heard about the flu vaccine - like that the shot can cause the flu - are actually not true at all. You can get the vaccine at most major drug store chains, or at your doctor's office, too.

In addition to the vaccination, you can help fend off the flu by keeping your immune defenses strong. Of those who died, 42 percent were known to have been vaccinated, and 58 percent were either not vaccinated or had no documentation of flu vaccine, said to DHHS spokesman Cobey Culton.

As with most infectious diseases, those who are around other people - family, classmates, patients, coworkers, children in daycare - are most a risk of getting sick and of making others sick.

About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against influenza virus infection.

The province says 46 people with lab-confirmed cases of the flu died in Manitoba last winter, the highest number in three years. "Past year was a little bit unusual that the A and B strains were going together throughout the season".

Overall, in the previous year, despite what seems like a low effectiveness rate, the flu shot still managed to cut back on a person's risk of having to go to the doctor's office by 40 percent.

Concerns about fading effectiveness are "definitely something to consider, but it's not something at this point that we really know how to balance out with other issues, " said Dr. Lisa Grohskopf, a medical officer in the CDC's Influenza Division. As The Wall Street Journal reported back in 2010, eggs used for flu vaccines don't come from commercial food farms, and are "tested vigorously for pathogens". They do not recommend one type of flu vaccine over another. The flu shot should be at least 60 percent effective.

Flu vaccines help your body create weapons, called antibodies, that help fight the virus when you're exposed to it.

In addition to the single day that the vaccinations were offered, the flu clinic was not extensively advertised to students - two emails were sent out, one on September 28 and another on the day of the clinic.

"We want to get the word out that the flu is not bad", Webb-Collins said. "The strains of flu circulating each year are therefore always different, so people need to get a flu shot every year", said Roth.


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