Stagnant flu vaccine rates worry USA health officials

Australia has seen the worst flu season in years with hundreds dying from the illness including Canberra mother-of-two Jennifer Thew

This strain of the virus affected most of the Australians hit by this year's record flu season.

The group recommended a new influenza A H3N2 strain, and swapped out the Victoria-lineage B strain with a Yamagata-lineage virus that had been recommended previous year as the second B strain in quadrivalent vaccine formulations. Like last season, the nasal mist vaccine is not available.

In addition to maintaining good health habits and washing your hands with soap and water, a yearly flu vaccine is the best way to protect oneself from influenza.

Data released Thursday showed that while there were slight increases in the vaccination rates among people most vulnerable to the flu - adults over age 50 - there were "mostly stagnant vaccination rates among all age groups", according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. When the researchers looked at influences on the day of vaccination, they found an even greater effect on how well it worked, accounting for between 8 and 14 percent of the variability in antibody levels.

With the onset of winter and the "flu season", the research is likely to be of interest to people who are having their flu shot.

Free NHS flu vaccinations are also available to individuals with asthma, COPD or other long-term lung conditions, heart problems, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, stroke or a transient ischaemic attack, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment such as steroid medication or cancer treatment, neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy, problems with your spleen e.g sickle cell disease or the removal of the spleen or are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 or above).

That's why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging everyone 6 months and older to get a flu shot.

At the global level, H3N2 and influenza B are the predominant seasonal flu strains, and in the most recent flu developments, Australia is still reporting high flu levels, led by H3N2, with high numbers of deaths in nursing homes and in healthy adults. "Today, I am leading by example and getting vaccinated against flu". "Our goal is to increase coverage for children of all ages".

During the 2016-2017 flu season, the hospitalization rate was double that of the 2015-2016 season and higher across all age groups. Pneumococcal disease is often a common and deadly complication of influenza. The participants also filled out a questionnaire about their mood the day they got the flu shot.

"It will be severe and there will always be a flu season".

The World Health Organisation's advisory panel has concluded its bi-annual meeting on the Southern Hemisphere flu vaccine.

For the 2017-2018 season, CDC recommends only the use of injectable influenza vaccines (flu shots), including inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines.

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