Our opinion: Get vaccinated for flu season

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In addition to standard injected forms of the vaccine, the CDC earlier this year reinstated its recommendation for Flumist Quadrivalent. That said, Schaffner warned that flu is "unpredictable". Flu vaccination rates actually declined last season compared with previous years.

Flu vaccination is recommended each year for everyone 6 months of age and older.

Last year 155 million vaccine dose were administered - with between 163 and 168 million available this year, including nasal spray.

The makeup of the vaccine has been changed this year to try to better protect against expected strains. "Give the vaccine credit for softening the blow".

"Pregnant women who get the flu do very poorly", said Riley.

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Vaccination varies widely among states and specific groups. Of the fatal cases, 180 were in children, the highest ever for a nonpandemic flu year since the CDC began tracking the data in 2004. She explained that during pregnancy, even a healthy pregnancy, the immune system is not working full throttle.

The worst flu season ever reported happened in 1918 when a pandemic claimed the lives of more than 500,000 Americans.

"Kids have a lot of snot, they have a lot of drool and they go to school", she said over laughter from the audience. "We hate H3N2." When a doctor says it's bad, you know it's bad.

Young children and senior citizens were hit the hardest by the flu. Flu vaccination is not a ideal tool, but it is the best way to protect against flu infection.

While vaccination remains the best way to reduce the risk of influenza and related complications and to prevent the spread of the virus, influenza vaccination rates across certain populations are substantially lower than USA public health goals.

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"The vaccine is not available under six months of age", Stevenson said. Almost 58 percent of children were vaccinated, well short of the federal goal of 80 percent.

Past year was a risky one for those battling influenza.

Fatal complications from the flu can include pneumonia, stroke and heart attack.

The summary of the 2017-2018 flu season was published on the website of the CDC. "Because our rates for flu shots are under 34%, that means that two out of every three people are unprotected and pose an increased risk of catching the disease and transmitting it to you", Hess adds.

"My wife's grandmother was going along OK", Adams said. The annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get the seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others.

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The experts gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Thursday urged people to get vaccinated by the end of October. If you're sick, stay home. That said, studies have shown that there may be a miscommunication between doctors and their patients on how vaccines work and why they should be taken.