Get your family vaccinated even though it’s not a perfect match

CDC Influenza map

It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week through Dec. 13, 2014 and the flu is widespread in Maryland, according to the Centers for Disease Control and usmap48Prevention. Even though the CDC has stated that this year’s flu vaccine is less effective against the strain of flu that is currently making the rounds, it’s still important to get your family vaccinated against the flu.

Here are some Fast Flu Facts to keep in mind:

Fast Flu Facts:

  • A flu vaccine contains three or four flu viruses (depending on the type of vaccine you receive) so even when there is a less than ideal match, the vaccine may protect against different but related viruses, according to the CDC.
  • 52% of the 85 influenza virus samples collected and analyzed from Oct. 1 through Nov. 22 of this year were different than the virus strains included in this season’s flu vaccine.
  • The most common strain of the virus reported so far this season is influenza A (H3N2). In the past, this strain has been linked to higher rates of hospitalization and death.
  • Even with a less than ideal match, the CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccination, especially high risk groups such as the elderly, young children, and those with chronic health conditions.
  • Maryland is one of six states so far this season reporting widespread reports of influenza, according to the CDC.
  • This past February, the FDA recommended that the 2014-2015 flu vaccine be the same one used for the 2013-2014 flu season.
  • Flu vaccination rates are on the rise. In 2012-2013, 41% of adults and 56% of children received the flu vaccination (an increase from the previous flu season).
  • January through March is peak flu season.

Find out what Maryland counties in the area are still giving flu shots.

Facts provided by AFC/Doctors Express