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Flu shots recommended by end of October

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | October 12, 2021 1:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — It may have been overlooked so far, but flu season is approaching.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults get vaccinated against flu soon. Health care professionals and local pharmacies offer the shots.

“Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October,” the CDC website stated. “After you are vaccinated, your body takes about two weeks to develop antibodies that project against the flu.”

Flu shots are recommended for people 6 months and older, with some exceptions, according to the CDC website. Different vaccines are approved for different ages.

Adults, especially adults 65 and older, should wait until September and October to get a flu shot, since the protection provided can decrease over time, the CDC website stated.

But it’s not right for everybody, and people who have concerns about getting the vaccine should talk to a medical professional.

People who have severe allergies to the ingredients should not get a flu shot. Examples of vaccine ingredients include gelatin and certain antibiotics. Eggs are a component in many of the vaccine variations, but there are egg-free options. If people have a severe allergy to any of the ingredients, they should talk to a doctor or other medical professional.

Misty Aguilar, public information officer for the Grant County Health District, said she disliked getting the flu shot since it usually left her feeling a little ill for a couple of days. Aguilar is allergic to eggs, but didn’t know at first the vaccine variations she was getting included eggs. Once health care professionals made the connection, she said, they switched her to versions made without eggs.

“The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated as needed to match existing flu viruses,” the CDC website stated. “This season (2021) all flu vaccines will be designed to protect against the four viruses that research indicates will be the most common.”

The prevalence of flu has been lower in the last 18 months or so, likely because people were staying home. That may have an effect on the 2021-22 flu season.

“Reduced population immunity due to a lack of flu virus activity since March 2020 could result in an early and possibly severe flu season,” the CDC website stated.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.