Flu jab should be mandatory for frontline health staff

Flu jab should be mandatory for health workers       Uptake rates remain low in this group

As the weather changes this time of the year, many Temple Owls are gearing up for the start of cold and flu season. We encourage this for you - and for the people around you, too.

Influenza cases reached pandemic levels in Arizona during the 2017-18 flu season, with 24,667 cases reported statewide by the end of August. According to National Public Radio (NPR), "every year, about 1 in 4 college students get the flu". The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to remind you that 80,000 people died from influenza a year ago. Influenza is often quite serious for seniors.

Given that 900,000 people were hospitalized in the United States over the course of the last flu season, getting vaccinated is crucial, said pediatrician Dr. James Cherry. We have several different ways to prevent contracting the flu while in college.

While people may avoid the vaccine because of tales it makes people sick, Ramsey said typically only five out of 100 people may experience symptoms.

He said that anyone who has not been vaccinated should get the flu shot as soon as possible.

The vaccine is not fail-proof, but it does decrease the chances of getting the flu and increase recovery times for those who do get the flu.

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"Other eligible individuals can get flu shots free of charge at contracted institutions, but will need to pay registration fees and associated medical expenses", the agency added. Of positive samples at public health labs, 86.4% were influenza A and 13.6% were influenza B. Of the few influenza A samples that were subtyped, 22.2% were H3N2 and 75% were 2009 H1N1. Scientists found no loss in the amount of infectious virus at any humidity, which means that expelled aerosols containing flu viruses are stable in the air for at least one hour.

These groups include children 6-23 months, pregnant women, adults 65 years and older, health care providers, and persons suffering from chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, or on the advice of a consulting physician.

"There is not a shortage of flu vaccine", said Mary Anne Holmes, manager of vaccine-preventable diseases for the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit.

"No, flu vaccines can not cause flu illness", the CDC states. “Getting vaccinated now will help not only you, but those around you.”.

'You may feel soreness at the site of injection, but ... that is way better than getting the flu'. The body produces the specific antibodies needed to fight off the specific viruses that are in the vaccine - making the immune defense stronger.

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