Doctors Want The Public To Get Vaccinated For This Years Flu Season

Despite the usual barrage of seasonal warnings, fewer than 50 percent of Americans reported getting a flu shot a year ago.

"It protects the old, the young, the vulnerable", Jessica Taus said Monday as the health unit issued its annual advice for residents across the region to get their flu shot. Illustration showing the flu virus containing eight gene segments. You can have some side effects after vaccination, but this is not flu illness. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, vaccines are updated annually to keep up with the changing viruses.

Unfortunately, the vaccine people are now getting covers the same flu strain.

Yet because the influenza virus mutates rapidly and because people, animals and birds often carry the virus without displaying symptoms, it's been hard to develop a vaccine with long-term effectiveness.

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"Our data suggest that we should invest in new technologies that allow us to ramp up production of influenza vaccines that are not reliant on eggs", Hensley said. Scientists are trying various approaches to better match vaccines to multiple viral strains. Those that received higher doses of the vaccine didn't even get sick. This induces immune cells to make antibodies that stop foreign invaders from infecting cells, readying them to attack flu viruses when the body sees them again. Once it has been injected, these specific viruses trigger the body's immune system to go against proteins which move away from the surface of the flu virus.

The current strain of H3N2 emerged during the 2014-15 flue season and remains prevalent today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that a year ago influenza vaccination prevented approximately 5.1 million influenza illnesses, 2.5 million influenza-associated medical visits and 71,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations. Interestingly, the sugar-adorned viruses are not found in vaccines made using other methods.

One important reason flu shots don't usually work very well is because they're grown in chicken eggs, a slow and tricky process that can go wrong easily, researchers told NBC News. It takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to reach maximum protection.

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