Over 65s in Devon urged to get flu jab

Kenny Tucker
September 14, 2018

As the school term winds up, the weather's getting colder and the days are getting shorter.

"However, [the flu shot] can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later", the CDC says in a flu shot advisory.

Flu is a disease which spreads very rapidly and can be very unpleasant in babies and children - some can develop a very high fever or even serious complications of flu such as bronchitis, pneumonia, middle ear infection, meningitis, encephalitis and very occasionally a child may die from flu. Until scientists create something more effective, the flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself and your family from flu and any associated illness. For individuals with a weakened immune system, the flu can be life threatening. 180 children died from influenza-associated causes in the 2017-2018 flu season, 80 percent of whom were not vaccinated that season.

Who should get the flu shot for 2018-2019?

Every year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has to choose the strain of the flu virus that would be put into the flu shot.

About four in ten (39%) people say they're not planning on getting the flu shot.

Tom Keating, 76, of Decatur, near Atlanta, was at a nearby meeting when he made a decision to take advantage of the easy way to get a flu shot outside Northlake Mall. "For example, during the 2016-2017 influenza season, CDC estimates that flu vaccine prevented an estimated 5.3 million illnesses, 2.6 million medical visits, and 85,000 hospitalizations associated with influenza".

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The campaign will be one of the first to roll out under the newly launched "Help Us Help You" brand. However, gender appears to have a significant impact on the efficacy of the influenza vaccine as well according to a study entitled "Should sex be considered as an effect modifier in the evaluation of influenza vaccine effectiveness?" published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

The CDC said it can't predict whether this season's vaccine will be a particularly good match for the circulating viruses, but experts say even if a particular batch of flu vaccine offers less-than-ideal protection, some protection is still better than none. "But the bottom line is, certainly getting vaccinated gives you more protection than none at all".

Myth #5 - I never get the flu, I shouldn't bother getting the shot.

Fact #5 - Many things can contribute to how often someone does or doesn't get the flu. Sometimes you might not get the flu because everyone around you has the flu shot, and so you haven't been exposed to it.

"The decision to have your child vaccinated against flu is yours of course, but we would like you to be fully informed of the advantages and disadvantages before making your decision once again this year".

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