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04 December 2017, 04:00 | Melissa Porter
First flu-related death of the season hits Edmonton
Dr Anthony Fauci told WTOP: "What happened is, in the development of the vaccine, as we grow it in eggs, the virus itself mutated a bit, so that there was nearly an accidental mismatch purely on the basis of the virus trying to adapt itself to growing in eggs, which is the way you make the vaccine".
Glaser isn't sure why there were so many cases of the flu here last season, but said severity fluctuates from year to year.
Over the past few months, Australia, whose flu season just ended, was hit hard with a flu strain that's notorious for causing severe illness, especially in seniors.
So far, this year, the vaccine has only helped prevent the flu in 10% of people inoculated. 'Vaccines remain a valuable public health tool, and it is always better to get vaccinated than not to get vaccinated'. The situation in Australia suggests this flu season could be even worse.
"What we do know is that the more people who get the vaccine, the fewer people get sick, the milder the flu season is for everyone", said Dr. John Marshall of Maimonides Medical Center.
The very young and very old are most susceptible to getting the flu.
Deti cautions that the county data is often inaccurate because many people do not go to the doctor when they have the flu and those who do often don't get officially tested and diagnosed. Flu shots take two weeks to become effective, so Glaser recommends getting one as soon as possible, if you haven't already.
Flu activity is listed as widespread in four states: Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
For needle-phobes, there's a skin-deep vaccine that uses tiny needles, and a needle-free jet injector that shoots another vaccine through the skin.
In Australia this past flu season, the problem did not appear to be a mismatch between the flu strains that were circulating and those that the available vaccine protected against, Fauci said.
"With the flu rates in Calgary and him in daycare, it's reasonable that he gets it", she said. The self-pay cost of vaccines is $25 and the high-dose vaccine for people 65 or older cost is $55.
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