OPM, HHS Urge Federal Employees to Get Flu Shots

There had been expectations of a potentially severe season given the high levels of flu-related hospitalisation and death seen during the Northern Hemisphere winter

The Big Number: Millions of flu vaccines will be offered this season

A flu shot is not flawless, but all Americans should consider taking it to prevent any health problems.

More than 80,000 Americans died of the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That's not to mention the heavy toll of hospitalizations and deaths that occur mainly among people 65 and older.

In recent years, over 9,000 people nationwide were admitted to hospital with confirmed cases of flu and ten per cent of all patients admitted died as a result of the flu virus.

Each year a new flu vaccine is made to protect against three or four viruses that are likely to cause disease in the upcoming flu season. Last year, the agency said the vaccine was 40 percent effective, meaning it reduced the person's overall risk of getting the illness by that number.

In comparison, an estimated 14,000 GP visits and 2300 hospitalisations were related to the flu last winter. That having been said, it is important to remember that the flu vaccine is a projection of what strain will be predominant in the coming season. "Maybe (one year) it was a good year for the recombinant vaccine, but maybe the next year it's no better than the regular". School children from reception class through to year five will get their vaccinations through their school.

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For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant but usually self-limiting disease, with recovery generally within a week or two.

For those concerned about safety or side effects, Munoz assures them flu vaccines are tested extensively for safety and produced under "very high standards". If you have flu while you're pregnant, it could mean your baby is born prematurely or has a low birthweight, and may even lead to stillbirth or death.

Receiving those vaccinations, health care officials say, is very important when fighting the flu.

Students and faculty walked over to the Library Lawn and received a free flu vaccine at their best suited time, with the open availability that was offered by the Health Center.

Roth said that every flu season is unique, and that is it hard to predict how the flu will impact people season to season-making it unclear if any season will be worse than others.

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Pregnant women, parents of children aged 2 and 3 years old and adults with underlying health conditions are also being encouraged to take up the offer of a free vaccination from today (October 8).

Gov. John Carney and other state officials were among hundreds of Delawareans getting their flu vaccine Tuesday at the third annual Division of Public Health drive-thru flu clinic in Dover.

There are suggestions for helping contain the virus and keep it from spreading to others. It's recommended that you wash often with soap and water. In the home and workplace, disinfect phones, keyboards, door handles, and other commonly touched surfaces.

"While the mist would be an option, the shot is still the recommendation", he says. In comparison, flu deaths during the last few seasons were anywhere from 12,000 to 56,000. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October.

"You still want to take those every day, preventative actions", she said. Children who get the flu have the same symptoms as adults - including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat.

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