Last winter’s flu season was even more deadly than you can imagine

The province's seasonal influenza immunization program runs until Dec. 18					Luke Hendry  Postmedia

The province's seasonal influenza immunization program runs until Dec. 18 Luke Hendry Postmedia

Flu shots are recommended for seniors, people with underlying chronic health conditions, children under five, and pregnant women.

The flu season which peaked in around the start of February of this year took approximately 80,000 lives.

An overwhelming majority of them had not been vaccinated.

The flu vaccine for those older than 65 will be delayed this year, the chief medical officer has said.

This year's vaccine contains two A strains of the H1N1 and H3N2 viruses, and two strains of the B/Victoria and B/Yamagata.

Mirella Salvatore, an infectious disease specialist at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, told The New York Times the strains which are now circulating match that in the vaccine, but noted "even when vaccines do not match circulating strains they seem to prevent severe disease, and studies show that unmatched vaccines can still avert million of hospitalizations".

"I strongly encourage all healthcare workers to get the flu vaccine to protect themselves, their families and their patients". And right now, the view is good.

This past year's season was not a pandemic, but it was long - 19 weeks.

Health officials say the flu is already present in Oklahoma and has led to several hospitalizations in the state. So it's possible that you could contract flu or a variation of the virus during in this time.

So if the season is expected to be mild, why get the shot? You should get a flu shot that is not only for your own health, but for the health of others.

That said, Lin noted receiving the vaccine anytime during the season is "better late than never".

As Huffpost points out, the CDC actually uses statistical models based on the information available to estimate the number of cases of the flu and the deaths that result from it. Death reports don't always cite the flu as the cause, complicating the cataloging process, and many flu cases simply go entirely unreported.

Some Thunder Bay pharmacies are now offering flu shots to their customers.

What is a common misconception about the flu vaccine?

Latest News