JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This season's flu isn't going away just yet. In fact, we've still got several more weeks before we're through the thick of it. 9 new pediatric deaths from the flu were reported in the latest report from the CDC -which now bring the season's total to 29.
In our weekly update from the CDC, health officials say hospitalization for flu are the highest among seniors. This season's flu vaccine is 48% effective in reducing the risk of infections. So is it really worthwhile to get your flu shot? Doctors say the answer is 'yes'.
The percentage of clinic visits for flu-like illnesses according to the CDC have been above the national baseline for nine consecutive weeks. We're still in the thick of flu season and doctors say it's time to get going! The vaccination takes 10 days to two weeks for it to fully kick in. And with spring break coming up in the next month, that means more people traveling and more germs spreading. Now is the time to get protected.
Can you still get the flu even if you get vaccinated? Yes. The flu shot is far from perfect. Like we mentioned, the CDC says the vaccine is only about 48% effective this season. Part of the reason is how well-matched the viruses in the vaccine are to the particular strain that's spreading at the time. But here's the good news, the vaccine can help decrease the severity of your symptoms.
If you've already had the flu, you should still get vaccinated. A nurse that I spoke to at a CareSpot in St. Augustine says each year there are at least three strains of the virus that circulate. Just because you've already had the flu, it doesn't mean you won't become infected with a different strain.