Because of this, the Louisiana Department of Health is encouraging people to not delay in getting a flu shot. It is imperative that they get the flu vaccine so that they do not spread the flu to the patient, who will likely not be able to fight it and is at serious risk for complications, including death.
"Millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized, and tens of thousands of people die from flu-related consequences".
About half the people in the 18- to-44 age group also haven't gotten a flu shot, noted Webby, who believes that "it's probably an uphill battle" trying to increase these vaccination rates. Getting vaccinated later in the flu season - through January or even after - can still be beneficial.
Almost 12,000 of those deaths - about one in seven - occurred in Texas, which was hit particularly early and hard.
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Even when the flu shot does not keep a person from falling ill, research shows that there is a strong chance the person will have a much milder case. And do it with confidence - the vaccine is safe, you can't get flu from the vaccine. Of those more than 1,600 deaths, five were pediatric deaths.
Are all health care providers required to get vaccinated? Most health insurances are accepted, and a limited number of flu vaccine is available for those without health insurance. Policies regarding the flu vaccine vary from organization to organization.
"The whole thing about shots is that herd mentality", Borgen said. Although children are the ones receiving the vaccinations, they themselves do not know what is being injected into their bodies, nor do they know what the vaccination can prevent or protect them from.
Flu vaccines are not 100% effective, and sometimes the strain of flu circulating is not a ideal match for the flu strains in the flu vaccine. There are different flu vaccine dosages, formulations, and applications based on an individual's age and other health factors. "I also refer them to the Centers for Disease Control website, cdc.gov, which provides up to date information for healthcare providers and the public", said Mayer. If you have questions or concerns about the flu vaccine, talk to your primary care doctor.