"The season comes December through March, but you need to have the vaccine before an outbreak occurs" said Dr. Mark Lundber, from Butte County Public Health. It's back, flu season is right around the corner and studies show as many as one in five people will be affected by the virus. Each year in the U.S. 36,000 die from flu related illnesses, about 60 in butte county. That's why The Center for Disease Control says your best shot at staying healthy is to get a flu shot. The agency recommends everyone over six months of age be vaccinated. The CDC also says those over 50 years of age, and those between six months to four years are most at risk. "It can cause complications in anyone, but particularly the elderly and the very young" Lundberg said.
Because of last years H1N1 pandemic, commonly referred to as Swine Flu, a few changes have occurred in this seasons flu vaccine. The shot is made up of three components, one of which is now H1N1 prevention. It's assumed Swine Flu will still have a heavy presence this season. "The Public Health Officials believe that virus again is very likely to be the one circulating again this year" Lundberg explained.
And this year, unlike years past, the flu shot will be easy to get. There are no restrictions on who can get it first, and you can find it at most pharmacies. "If a Walgreens pharmacist is certified then they can give the shot anytime of the day, everyday of the week" said Walgreens Pharmacy Manager Colin Boggs.
Last year, many pediatricians opted not to stock the H1N1 vaccine, saying they wanted children to build up an immunity to the virus. But this year, they are recommending children receive the flu shot.