Flu cases usually start to pop up in October, peaking in January or February. This year, vaccines will protect against two new strains.
Health experts said the new strain of H3N2 tends to be the most severe type of influenza A.
“So those are in the vaccine so we are hoping as usual we will have a good match,” said Dr. Ron Voorhees, director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “We really can prevent a lot of the illness and hospitalizations and deaths that happen with influenza by people getting vaccinated.”
Dr. Voorhees recommends everyone over the age of 6 months get a vaccination.
The CDC reported that last year, just over half of American children and less than 40% of adults were immunized While many adults just don’t take the time to get the shot, others fall on the old wives tale that the flu shot may cause the flu.
“The vaccine is a killed virus. You don't get the influenza from it,” explained Dr. Voorhees.
He said it takes a few weeks after getting a shot for your body to build immunity to the flu, so don’t wait until flu season to get vaccinated.
There are several vaccination options available, including the traditional flu shot.
There is also the intradermal shot that uses a much smaller needle that only goes skin deep rather than into the muscle and a high dose shot for those 65 and older. The flu mist is also available, which is the live virus nasal spray.