Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Health unit reports higher than usual number of influenza reports in kids

Public health agencies say the flu vaccine is the best protection from the flu and its complications Public health agencies say the flu vaccine is the best protection from the flu and its complications
Melissa Porter | 09 December, 2018, 02:35

The Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor included key findings for New Jersey.

"It's not too late to get a flu shot", said Vonda Pruitt, director of nursing and social services for the Iroquois County Public Health Department. The American Academy of Pediatrics also cited that most childhood vaccines are 90-99% effective in preventing disease.

People with compromised immune systems are advised to talk with their doctor about whether a flu shot is appropriate. Flu is more likely to be severe or even deadly in these groups than among healthy adults. "If we don't get vaccinated, we are needlessly putting ourselves at risk of serious illness, but we are also gambling with the health of children and others around us who can't get vaccinated".

With this start to the influenza season, she said the health district wanted to expand its offerings of the influenza vaccine beyond its normal immunization clinic hours, which are from 9 to 11 a.m.

Evidently, some of the main reasons why they do not want to get vaccinated include concerns over the side effects or the actual efficacy of the flu vaccine, while others are merely not anxious that they will catch the flu.

The flu shot is available at health care providers walk-in clinics and participating pharmacies
The flu shot is available at health care providers walk-in clinics and participating pharmacies

Webby said a "slightly reassuring signal" this year is that the H1N1 strain is the dominant strain of flu circulating. That's not as high as the measles vaccine, but it still amounts to millions of cases of flu that should not have happened. Anyone at risk of complications from flu should talk with their health care provider.

The CDC recently reported that the flu was responsible for as many as 80,000 deaths last winter.

The two main factors in the effectiveness of the vaccine is the health of the patient and the match between the influenza viruses that the influenza vaccine is created to protect against and the influenza viruses spreading in the community. While vaccinations like the measles, mumps, rubella, and several others are already required, there are many optional yet highly recommended vaccines that many parents feel are unnecessary.

While the vaccine is not ideal, it greatly reduces the chances of getting the flu and lessens the severity should one get ill.

According to data released Monday from the Clover Health Flu Shot Monitor program, this number is a slight improvement from the findings of November's Flu Shot Monitor, which showed that 45 percent of New Jersey adults 60 and older had gotten a flu shot. "I also refer them to the Centers for Disease Control website, cdc.gov, which provides up to date information for healthcare providers and the public", said Mayer.