Health Care

Universal flu vaccine is 'an alchemist's dream'

Universal flu vaccine is 'an alchemist's dream'

Flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter seasons.

CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October so that people are more likely to be protected against the flu when activity picks up in the community, however, vaccination into December and beyond can be beneficial during most flu seasons, including this one.

Vaccination shortages were first reported in Södermanland County in mid-November, but a health official there told broadcaster SVT that there were similar shortages throughout the country. Underscoring the pervasiveness of anti-vaccination rhetoric is the reality that awareness of the importance of vaccines is not as high as extensive scientific research would suggest. Every person who remains healthy because of the flu vaccination can not pass the disease on to others - elderly people, for example, for whom the vaccine is generally less effective.

Statewide, at least 37 people have been hospitalized with influenza so far this season, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which is down considerably from a year ago when there were at least 210 hospitalizations about this time.

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"Millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized, and tens of thousands of people die from flu-related consequences".

If you've yet to get a flu shot, local nurses say it's not too late.

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

Visitors with flu symptoms and visitors younger than 12 years of age are prohibited from visiting these high-risk areas: all intensive care units, oncology inpatient floors and pediatric units.

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Why is it important for people to get vaccinated against the flu?

Looking at the new NORC report, Webby worries about "the quarter of people [age] 60-plus that are not getting vaccinated". Flu vaccines keep detrimental symptoms at bay and emergency rooms less crowded.

Flu vaccines are not 100% effective, and sometimes the strain of flu circulating is not a ideal match for the flu strains in the flu vaccine. The vaccine's effectiveness also can vary depending on who is being vaccinated. Not only will receiving the flu vaccine help protect the individual, but it will also help prevent those they come in contact with from getting the flu, by helping to stop the spread of the virus.

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