CDC working on new flu shot
While most people are worried about how to handle the high pollen counts this summer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are diligently preparing for flu season by working to create a flu vaccine strain that promises to improve over last year’s version.
The new vaccine will be released in September, according to the CDC. Officials said they have created a vaccine that will protect against last year’s deadly and strong strain H3N2 and several influenza A and B viruses.
Hundreds of thousands were hospitalized, and flu deaths ranged from 5 to 9.3 percent of all deaths in the first two months of this year, according to the CDC. The increase was caused by a flu strain that was not part of the predetermined flu virus shots.
In an effort to prevent a repeat situation, the CDC is looking to create a broader flu vaccine to protect more people during the upcoming flu season.
“Influenza activity is unpredictable in terms of what will predominate and the exact timing of the season,” said Lynnette Brammer, CDC epidemiologist, in a news release. “Therefore, we can’t know at this point what the next flu will look like. This year was a severe year, particularly for the elderly.”
Medical experts recommend everyone get protected from the flu by getting the shot ideally by October, which is right before typical seasonal flu outbreaks occur.
“You have to make sure you go to the doctor and get your flu shot,” said Dr. Adeshola Ezeokoli, internal medicine physician at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. “As we already know, the flu vaccine shot you received last year will not protect you this year. The flu vaccine mutates and changes with each season.”
The CDC recommends that everyone 6-months-old and older receive a flu shot yearly.
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