Government announces free flu vaccine for three million older Australians

Government announces free flu vaccine for three million older Australians

The number of doctor visits for flu-like symptoms plateaued in the week ended February 10, accounting for 7.5 percent of medical appointments, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vaccine is 34 percent effective at preventing the H3N2 strain and offers more protection against the H1N1 strain and B viruses.

Overall, that's an average effectiveness rate of 36-percent in the U.S. The vaccine has been most effect for children at 59 percent, who are also at a higher risk than others for getting the flu.

84 children have died from the flu since this season began in October.

Although some factors are beyond our control, such as the ability of flu virus to change rapidly as it circulates, there are steps that we can take to ensure that the seasonal influenza vaccine protects as many individuals as possible.

This winter's flu season is shaping up to be a nasty one, with flu-related hospitalization rates outpacing anything seen in recent years, according to the CDC.

Each year, a number of candidate vaccine viruses are selected and injected into eggs where they are incubated and replicate, or multiply, for several weeks.

The Louisiana Department of Health announced that they are officially extending its free flu shots, and they will be available while supplies last.

The bad toll of deaths linked to pneumonia and influenza this year may be slowing as well. Sixty-three children have already died from influenza this season.

"Levels of influenza-like-illness across the country are now as high as we observed at the peak of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic".

"It was a horror flu season past year, a mutation in the flu strain, that led to some tragedies with seniors", Mr Hunt told the Nine Network on Sunday.

Instead, the vaccine may falter over a phenomenon called the 'original antigenic sin'.

Instead, the human immune system seems to pick up on the presence of a flu strain - from either the vaccine or the flu itself - and respond as if it were whatever the first strain it encountered had been.

Benton spent years researching the flu vaccine.

"In past seasons similar to this one, an estimated 34 million Americans have gotten sick with flu".

"It's awful to see your child with a breathing mask on her face", said Stephanie Calvin, 35, of Mandeville, La., whose 4-year-old daughter has been sick with flu for four weeks. It would protect people from many strains of the flu. It is thought that non-egg-based vaccines are less likely to have mutations that lead to less protective effects.

Hygiene: A number of common actions - coughing, sneezing, touching your nose, mouth, or eyes, and even talking - are some of the most rampant ways of spreading the flu.

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