Getting The Flu Shot Is Still Your Best Protection

Modesto Morganelli
Dicembre 7, 2017

It's just the start of the flu season, but the virus has already spread widely across MA, according to state epidemiologists who track and report the flu to the Centers for Disease Control.

Flu activity is listed as widespread in four states: Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Dr. Dan Skiest, of the Infectious Disease Division at Baystate Health, said the vast majority of people haven't been exposed to the virus yet, because it's still early.

The paper says the implications for the Northern Hemisphere are not clear but states that since most of the USA influenza-vaccine supply is now produced in eggs and the composition of the 2017-2018 Northern Hemisphere vaccine is identical to that used in Australia, it is possible that we will experience low vaccine effectiveness against influenza A (H3N2) viruses and a relatively severe influenza season if they predominate.

"Because there's no downside, and it's only [an] upside", he said.

He says getting the flu shot annually continues to be the best protection against the flu, especially for high-risk populations, including seniors, young children, pregnant women and those with pre-existing medical conditions. "Now, they should get it sooner rather than later, because it takes about two weeks for it to become effective".

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