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Vaccine Expert Warns of Flu Risk to Elderly

03 October 2017

'It is possible that, in future, vaccinations against flu might be given at longer intervals - maybe every five years instead of every year. The vaccine takes one to two weeks to start working and is 70 to 90 percent effective in preventing the seasonal flu.

"We are being advised that the flu season may have peaked, but we'd like to see some greater evidence of that because, certainly, the demand on our health system continues". The fourth strain mirrors the type of flu health officials saw last April.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Occasionally, the flu can be lethal.

Following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, only the injectable form of the flu vaccine will be available at all flu clinics in the state this year including school clinics.

According to Health Canada, the availability of the flu shot depends on the province (you can find more indivdualized information here), a message echoed by Shoppers Drug Mart, which has locations across the nation. And, fortunately, it's pretty easy to do so.

Flu shots will also be administered in Carroll County public schools later this month for children whose parents have signed the consent form.

There were 172,247 notifications of influenza - about 2.5 times higher than in 2016. Patients should arrive no later than 4:30 p.m.in order to be processed.

In addition to the groups eligible to receive government-funded vaccines previous year, the government is covering two additional groups: parents with infants younger than six months old and people who work at preschools or nurseries.

The Department of Health is exploring the option of using more potent formulations of flu vaccine, such as Fluzone and Fluad for the elderly in future, but neither of these "enhanced" vaccines are registered for use in Australia, says Professor Murphy. And if you do catch the flu bug, be smart.

Vaccine Expert Warns of Flu Risk to Elderly