In the fall of 2014, the flu vaccine was a bit of a “mismatch,” but this flu season, early reports suggest that health officials and vaccine makers have gotten it right.
During flu season a year ago, the vaccine wasn’t as effective as hoped against the particular influenza virus that was making most people sick. That news prompted some people to skip the flu shot.
“So far this year, we know the match is very, very good. We expect excellent response if the match remains what it is, the virus may change as the season evolves,” said Martin Luta, chief of Delaware’s Bureau of Communicable Diseases.
“Even if the vaccine is not exact, it will still provide protection. The message about the vaccine is: It’s always a good idea to have it,” said Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, a liaison to the New Jersey Department of Health.
The flu and common cold share some of the same symptoms, but the flu often hits harder and can lead to hospitalization for people with a weakened immune system
“Usually influenza comes on quicker, often people will feel feverish, they might have muscle and body aches, headaches and fatigue,” said Tina Tan, state epidemiologist at the New Jersey Department of Health. “Sometimes people feel like they are hit with this illness all of a sudden in contrast to common cold.”
The government recommends the flu vaccine for nearly everyone older than 6 months.
So far this season, two people in Delaware have been hospitalized with flu. Both were treated and discharged to recover at home.