Utahns prepare for arrival of flu season

Mood May Influence How Well Flu Vaccine Works
Should you get the winter flu jab? All you need to know about the vaccine
Author

29 September, 2017

The vaccines this season have been modified to protect against the flu viruses that research suggests will be most common in coming months.

"But their Achilles heel is that their ability to protect against disease is affected by how well an individual's immune system works", she said. After decreases during the 2015-2016 season among adults age 50 to 64 years and 65 years and older, vaccination coverage rates rebounded in the 2016-2017 season. Medical practitioners say since it takes two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop, getting a flu shot earlier provides immunity once the season is underway. Additionally, a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay and overall duration of hospitalization among adults hospitalized because of influenza.

"Patient behaviours and psychological well-being can influence immune responses to vaccination", they write in the study.

A new study has found a link between being in a positive mood when you're getting your flu shot and the vaccine's protective effect. The annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. "I urge parents to remember that even the healthiest children are at risk from the flu so it's really important to get them vaccinated every year". During the 2016-2017 season, the hospitalization rate was almost double that of the 2015-2016 season and higher across all age groups (cumulative rate for all ages of 62.6/100,000) than the previous eight seasons, with the exception of the 2014-2015 season.

"If you're in any of the at-risk groups the flu vaccine is completely free and is a safe way of protecting you and your family in a matter of minutes".

CREDIT KTHV
CREDIT KTHV

Among pregnant women, 54 percent said they were vaccinated in 2016, which is the same as the last four flu seasons, the CDC researchers reported.

On flu-related matters, officials said children between 6 months and 23 months old were the top group during the past season to receive vaccinations: 76.3 percent.

For the upcoming flu season, the CDC again recommended only injectable flu vaccines and not nasal sprays. And the major culprit has been the H3N2 flu strain, which is known for causing severe disease, especially among older people.

The team also emphasises that the mood effect was only significant for one of the flu strains in that year's vaccine, H1N1 - and participants had the smallest levels of antibody for this one prior to vaccination.

At their meeting this week in Melbourne, Australia, World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine advisors today recommended changing two of three components for trivalent vaccines that pharmaceutical companies will produce for the Southern Hemisphere's 2018 flu season.

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