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.
"The 2017-2018 influenza season was a high severity season with high levels of outpatient clinic and emergency department visits for influenza-like illness (ILI), high influenza-related hospitalization rates, and elevated and geographically widespread influenza activity for an extended period", the CDC wrote in its summary of the 2017-2018 flu season. That's especially true after the severe flu outbreak of 2017-18 that claimed the lives of 150 in Georgia, including five children.
"While we can never fully predict how the virus will affect the population each year, the best protection we have against it is the flu vaccine".
"Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death", the CDC said on its website. It adds that millions are affected with this infection that kills thousands every year.
Experts say now is a good time to get a flu shot. Influenza virus is notorious for its ability to change.
The newly available "adjuvanted" vaccine is expected to significantly boost effectiveness by improving the body's immune response to the vaccine.
Fact #2 - The modern flu shot is produced in two ways, either containing a strain of the disease that is "inactivated" (not infectious) or without any flu virus at all.
This comes after the publication by scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the journal Biology of Sex Differences showing that a protein called amphiregulin (AREG) could be the reason why men recover from influenza more quickly than women. Around three or four types of influenza viral strains are targeted with the vaccine. Eligible adults are encouraged to get their free vaccine from their local general practice or pharmacy before the end of November to protect themselves and their families before flu reaches its seasonal peak. They cost $35 for standard vaccines, and $65 for high-dose vaccines for people 65 and older. Other groups that must be vaccinated include pregnant women, people with underlying illnesses and children. As such, children, adults, and older adults are recommended to get the flu vaccine. The AAP states that the FluMist is not effective against H1N1 flu strain and is less effective against H3N2 influenza virus. They went on to add that millions of people get affected by the flu every year and nearly thousands expire from the all the possible causes of flu. "It's not unsafe per se or ineffective, we just don't have the experience and confidence for the nasal spray to protect against one of the most commonly circulated strains", she said.