Flu shot season arrives amid summer-like temperatures - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Flu shot season arrives amid summer-like temperatures

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)
ARLINGTON, MA (WFSB) -

It may still be summer for another few days, but it’s also flu shot season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 40 million doses have already been shipped to get ahead of the virus.

Health experts said this year’s version includes a recipe change to make it more effective than last year’s.

Angelina Stamas of Arlington, MA said she’s thinking about the flu despite the warm temperatures outside.

“It wipes you out,” she said. “You become a worn out dish rag."

Stamas said she went to a clinic in Massachusetts for people 65 years old and older.

Those vaccinated received a special high dose vaccine four times stronger than the regular one, according to doctors.

Experts said it could help older people mount a better immune response.

“I think everybody should get it, I really do,” Stamas said.

The CDC recommends flu vaccinations for everyone 6 months and older. Last year, the vaccination rate was only 47 percent.

New research suggested that vaccinating younger adults in a community helps the rate of flu in the elderly.

Dr. Kathleen Neuzil is a vaccine researcher.

“For young and middle-aged healthy adults, protecting others should be as compelling a reason to get the influenza vaccine as protecting yourselves,” she said.

Experts admitted that last year, the vaccine was only 23 percent effective because the predominate strain mutated after the vaccine had already been manufactured.

Officials said this year’s shot is well matched right now to the circulating viruses. In a typical season, well matched means about 50 to 60 percent effective.

Doctors said people can still come down with the bug after getting the vaccine. However, the CDC said getting the shot can help make the symptoms less severe.

More information about how people can protect themselves can be found here.

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