- When should I get vaccinated?
- You should get a flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout flu season, even into January or later.
- Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.
What sort of flu season is expected this year?
It is not possible to predict what this flu season will be like. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one season to another.
This time of year is called “flu season.” In the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months. Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and November. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, and it can last as late as May. CDC monitors certain key flu indicators (for example, outpatient visits of influenza-like illness (ILI), the results of laboratory testing and reports of flu hospitalizations and deaths). When these indicators rise and remain elevated for a number of consecutive weeks, “flu season” is said to have begun. Usually influenza like illness’s increases first, followed by an increase in flu-associated hospitalizations, which is then followed by increases in flu-associated deaths.
Will new flu viruses circulate this season?
Flu viruses are constantly changing so it’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year
What viruses will the 2018-2019 flu vaccines protect against?
There are many different flu viruses and they are constantly changing. The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated as needed to match circulating flu viruses. Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses (depending on vaccine) that research suggests will be most common. For 2018-2019, trivalent (three-component) vaccines are recommended to contain:
- A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 A(H3N2)-like virus (updated)
- B/Colorado/06/2017-like (Victoria lineage) virus (updated)
Quadrivalent (four-component) vaccines, which protect against a second lineage of B viruses, are recommended to contain: the three recommended viruses above, plus an additional B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus
How many people get sick with flu every year?
The exact number of flu illnesses that occur each season is not known because flu is not a reportable disease and not everyone who gets sick with flu seeks medical care or gets tested. Using statically modeling in combination with data from traditional flu surveillance systems to estimate the true burden of flu illness in the United States, including total flu cases. CDC estimates that flu has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses each year in the United States. CDC estimates that flu has resulted in between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations, and 10’s of thousands of death each year either as a cause or a contributing factor in death.
What should I do to protect myself from flu this season?
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.
In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others. In addition, there are prescription medications called antiviral drugs that can be used to treat influenza illness. Visit What you Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs for more information.
What should I do to protect my loved ones from flu this season?
Encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for developing flu complications, and their close contacts. Also, if you have a loved one who is at high risk of flu complications and they develop flu symptoms, encourage them to get a medical evaluation for possible treatment with flu antiviral drugs. These drugs work best if given within 48 hours of when symptoms start. CDC recommends that people who are at high risk for serious flu complications and who get flu symptoms during flu season be treated with flu antiviral drugs as quickly as possible without waiting for confirmatory testing. People who are not at high risk for serious flu complications may also be treated with flu antiviral drugs, especially if treatment can begin within 48 hours.
Do some children require two doses of flu vaccine?
Yes. Some children 6 months through 8 years of age will require two doses of flu vaccine for adequate protection from flu. Children in this age group who are getting vaccinated for the first time will need two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 4 weeks apart. Children who have only received one dose in their lifetime also need two doses. Your child’s doctor or other health care professional can tell you if your child needs two doses of flu vaccine. Visit Children & Influenza (flu) for more information.
What can I do to protect children who are too young to get vaccinated?
Children younger than 6 months old are at high risk of serious flu complications, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months old, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from flu. Everyone else who is around the baby also should be vaccinated. Studies have also shown that flu vaccination of the mother during pregnancy can protect the baby after birth from flu infection for several months.
In addition to getting vaccinated, you and your loved ones can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.
Where can I get a flu vaccine?
Flu vaccines are offered by many doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies, as well as by many employers.
We here at TriCounty Health Depart are offering flu vaccines on October 9th and 10th from 2-7pm at both the Vernal and Roosevelt USU campuses. We would love to see as many people at the drive through clinic’s on the 9th and 10th so that we can also test our capabilities as a Health Department to get treatment to as many people as possible in the event of a real EMERGENCY. For this event please try and wear a short sleeve shirt or loose clothing that we can easily access your upper arm for adults, and upper thigh for younger children. For helping TriCounty Health Department prevent the spread of flu and participating in or annual flu shoot preparedness exercise, we will be offering free passes to both the Vernal Rec center and the Roosevelt Aquatic center. If you are unable to attend the flu shoot out events we also have them available daily at our walk in clinics in Roosevelt and Vernal Monday thru Friday. Monday from 10-5 and from 8-5 the remainder of the week. We are also offering mobile clinics for those in our outlying areas of Duchesne, Daggat, and Uintah Counties. Look on our Home page tricountyhealth.com or follow us on Facebook for Dates and times.