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Q: 

Should I get this year's flu shot?

By HERWriter Blogger December 5, 2014 - 11:35am
 
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It's been reported that the CDC did not get the correct flu strains in this year's flu shot. Should I still get the flu shot this year or does is it not effective?

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Guide

Hi Erin,

That's a great question...thank you for sharing with the EmpowHER community! 

If people have yet to hear, the CDC announced a statement earlier this week that the Influenza virus has mutated and so in turn, it's possible that you could still not be protected even if you got this years flu shot. 

To sum up the report, the flu vaccine protects against three or four strains of flu. H3N2 is at the center of the debate. The strain of H3N2 infecting most people has mutated and only about half of cases match the vaccine, CDC said.

It's normal for strains to mutate and since vaccines are formulated months before, it's impossible to plan for the mutated strains. Getting the flu shot will still offer cross protection even if you happen to catch the mutated strain.

Keep in mind the vaccine still protects against half the circulating H3N2,as well as H1N1 flu and the B strains and so it is still a good idea to get the flu shot if you haven't already. 

"We are recommending strongly still that people who haven't been vaccinated get vaccinated. Every year vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against the flu," the CDC's flu expert Dr. Joe Bresee.

There's no way of predicting what strain if any you will come in contact with, so it's best not to worry unless you in fact get sick.

Peak flu season is in January and February so do your best to stay out of crowded public places and be sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap frequently. If you do get sick even after getting the flu shot, your doctor can prescribe Tamiflu and Relenza. When administered within a day or two of infection, the sickness can be reduced and helps keep people out of the hospital. 

"We are recommending strongly still that people who haven't been vaccinated get vaccinated. Every year vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against the flu," the CDC's flu expert Dr. Joe Bresee.

Erin, did this answer your question?

Best,

Kristin 

December 5, 2014 - 12:29pm
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