SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) — Flu shots are now available at most pharmacies and doctors offices, and this year’s version is expected to be more effective than last year’s.
Last year’s flu shot didn’t work as well as doctors had hoped, some people even ended up getting sick after getting the flu shot.But doctors say this year is expected to be different.
Last fall and winter was considered a bad season for the flu. According to The Centers for Disease Control and prevention, a mutated strain of the flu spread widely, after scientists had already created the vaccine.
The subtype that circulated last year is known as H3N2, and the vaccine fighting it was only 13% effective. That might have discouraged some people from getting the vaccine again, but a Physician’s Assistant at Baystate Medical Center told 22News it’s still extremely important.
Sheldon Williams told 22News, “The public shouldn’t be discouraged in terms of not getting the flu shot there’s a lot of bugs that are going around and you want to make sure you’re protected.”
The CDC says so far this year, the vaccine seem to be matching up with the strains of the flu pretty well. They change the vaccine every year to keep up with any mutations.
At least 171 million doses of flu vaccine are expected this year. About 40 million of this years doses have already been shipped to doctors drugstores and other locations.Since it takes about two weeks for to kick in, many people get the shot sooner rather than later. 22News spoke to One Springfield resident who said he’s already been vaccinated.
Peter Annone of Springfield told 22News, “I get it every year and it seems to work well with me, I’ve had no problems at all, and no side effects so I think I want to jump on it, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
If you don’t like getting shots, you can still get vaccinated this year needle free. This year, the vaccine will be offered through a new, needle free device. It’s called a “jet injector” and it forces the vaccine into a stream of fluid that penetrates the skin.
But The CDC does warn it can, at times, lead to the same soreness as a traditional shot.
There’s also the nasal spray which is actually the most widely used alternative to the traditional shot. Anyone who is healthy between the ages of 2 and 49 can most likely use the nasal spray to get vaccinated.
Thousands of people die from the flu every year, but only about half of Americans get vaccinated.