This Year's Flu Shot Offers More Protection

Multiple virus strains put more people at risk

By Matt Baume
|  Friday, Dec 10, 2010  |  Updated 6:15 PM PDT
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This Year's Flu Shot Offers More Protection

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LUENEBURG, GERMANY - APRIL 01: A syringe seen at doctor's office on April 1, 2006 in Lueneburg, Germany. The two member parties, the SPD and CDU, of the german coalition government, met to discuss reforms of public health insurance system. (Photo Illustration by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

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Here comes flu season, whether you're ready or not.

So far, the innoculation numbers in Sonoma County are 75 percent below where they were last year, the Press Democrat reports. The low vaccination numbers have officials worried that we could see a larger than usual outbreak later in the season.

The viruses change every year, so last year's immunization probably won't work.

This year's virus vaccine has multiple strains: H1N1, H3N2, and Influenza B. Health officials expect that this year's flu will pose a greater risk to seniors than last years' did, which is why the protection is much broader.

There have already been fatalities from Influenza B, due to an outbreak in Georgia. Months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted what flu strains that would be the biggest problem, and so far their foresight has proven correct. The vaccines have been able to keep the worst outbreaks in check.

If you want to be treated, you'd better move fast: a third of the country's vaccines have already been administered. That leaves about 50 million doses available for late-comers.
 

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