While it is not possible to predict what this flu season will be like, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) promises they are more prepared this year than they were last.
If you recall, last season we were hit by a particularly ugly strain of the flu. The flu vaccine was only 13% effective–quite the difference from the usual 50-60% effective rate. The CDC was caught off guard by a mutated version that started rapidly spreading after the vaccine was already created.
So far, this year’s flu strains seem to match last year’s, so the CDC predicts that the recipe change in this year’s version should make it much more effective. If you’re unsure about getting the flu shot this year, let us sway you. Only about half of Americans get the flu vaccine annually, while the flu kills about 24,000 people a year in the US. The flu is the most dangerous for people over 65, young children, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions. However, everyone needs to get the immunization and stay protected from this virus.
Remember, flu season peaks between December and February, but it generally starts around October. The vaccine takes about two weeks to kick in, so make sure you get your shot as soon as possible.