Current influenza vaccine found effective

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MinuteClinic representatives in Fort Wayne, Indiana told, “It’s important to get the flu shot every year because the immunity provided by the vaccine declines over time. It takes up to two weeks for your immunity to build up after getting a flu shot so the CDC recommends to get vaccinated as soon as flu vaccines become available. Getting a flu shot is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from catching the flu.”

Harsimran Makkad, Web Editor-in-Chief

  Not only is fall filled with various holidays, but it signifies the start of flu season.

  Kaiser Permanente Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Randy Bergen told, “This is prime time to get your flu shot. Our major emphasis is to get people in before Thanksgiving.”

  The high school has already been hit with a bout of the flu, with masses of students absent from classes for days. They come back to piles of homework and notes to complete for all their classes.

  Sophomore Stephanie Hong said, “It sucks when you come back after being sick for a few days to find a huge stack of work to make up.”

  “It takes me so long to complete the classwork and homework I miss when I was out sick, even if it was only one or two days.”

  The current flu vaccine has appeared to be more effective than last year’s, which was found to be 23 percent effective. This was because the common influenza strain was genetically different than the strain used in the vaccination.

  The prominent strain of the flu for this season so far has not mutated much from last year, so the match between vaccine and virus is likely to be stronger.

  Dr. Matt Zahn of the Medical Directory for Epidemiology for the Orange County Health Care Agency said, “The problem is that people are often complacent when it comes to the flu possibly because it is so widespread.”

  “However, it kills more people every year than the high profile diseases such as measles and West Nile Virus.”

  In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that each year, 3,000 to 49,000 people die from the flu in the United States alone. The federal agency recommends that anyone older than six months old should receive the flu vaccine each year.

  English teacher Mrs. Johanna Gordon said, “It doesn’t matter how effective the flu vaccine is said to be. I get it anyway. A little protection is better than none.”

  The best treatment for the flu is prevention.

  Bergen said, “Some people opt not the get the vaccine because they believe their immune system is strong, and they don’t need it. [But,] you could still get infected and pass it onto your loved ones or coworkers.”

  According to the Houston Chronicle, the flu vaccine is 50 to 60 percent effective in the community.