Flu vaccine recommended before peak flu season

Alicia Farmer
October 6, 2018

The Health Department will again offer the high-dose influenza vaccine this year. Once you get a flu shot, your friends, family and co-workers will be safer. Flu vaccine is available everywhere.

A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons.

The flu vaccine's effectiveness varies from year to year, but for those who still get the flu, the symptoms are milder than in those who haven't been immunized. While the precise efficacy of the vaccine varies year to year depending on a variety of factors - including the patient's characteristics, the types of flu strains circulating and which strains were included in that year's vaccine - it typically reduces the chance of catching the flu by about 40 to 60 percent.

The flu deaths last season were nearly 10,000 higher than the estimated number who died from drug overdoses and almost double the number of those estimated to have died in motor vehicle crashes.

It's not only colder weather that comes with fall. This makes vaccination of staff caring for frail, older people even more important.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Among these groups, a single bout of flu could result in severe health problems, or even death.

According to Public Health Sciences Prof. "As well as the impact on these individuals, this places an additional pressure on the health service at a busy time of year". "If you put it off - still get vaccinated, of course - but now is an excellent time to get vaccinated", Schffner said. They say many people have a lot of misunderstandings about the shot.

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"This year, we feel hopefully it will be more effective than last year", Kisner said.

For doctors, one alarming and frustrating fact is that many people fail to get vaccinated at all.

Immunity from flu is expected to last through January for those who get vaccinated now, Fricchione said.

Generally, the very old, the very young or those with major medical problems like diabetes, heart disease or immune conditions would make up the overwhelming portion of those severely ill with flu. The first clinic was at the Perry Township Fire Department from 2 p.m.to 6 p.m. and all people had to do was show up, follow the signs, register and pull through to the tent and receive the vaccination.

The Oswego State Mary Walker Health Center has continued its tradition of hosting free flu shot clinics ending with October 5, from 11:00 a.m.to 3:00 p.m., as the last advertised free flu clinic at the health center.

Since it's so early in our flu season it's impossible to know how deadly this disease could be.

For questions about the community flu clinics or to inquire about arranging a vaccination clinic at your worksite, please call the Norwalk Health Department at 203-854-7776. Several free and low cost clinics are being held this month. No co-pay will be charged to people presenting their insurance cards (Medicare, Medicaid and most private/employee health insurance plans).

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