Moffat County Public Health: ‘It is even more important to get a flu vaccine.’
Warning of a severe flu season, Moffat County Public Health is urging residents to get vaccinated ahead of the traditional peaks of the virus’s impactful period.
“This flu season, just like last year, it is even more important to get a flu vaccine,” a release from the department reads. “The great news is you can receive it concurrently with a COVID-19 vaccine should you want both.”
Noting changes from year to year in recent seasons’ virulence and severity, the October-to-May Colorado flu season is anticipated to be one of particular public health concern this year.
“The 2016-2017 flu season was mild to moderate, peaking in February, and had a dominant Influenza A H3N2 strain,” the release reads. “2017-2018 flu season experienced a December peak with Flu A. 2018-2019 was an extremely severe season for influenza, with two peaks — one in December and again in March — with H1N1 being the predominant Flu A staring. In 2019-2020, a trend not seen since the 1992-1993 flu season, Flu B was the top circulating strain, peaking in February.”
The vaccine for this year’s flu strain is evidently unique, the release indicates.
“All flu vaccines available are quadrivalent instead of trivalent,” the release reads. “This includes high dose vaccine for those 65 years of age and older. In all flu vaccines, two A and two B lineages are included. The CDC states that flu viruses are constantly changing, so the vaccine composition is reviewed each year and updated as needed based on which influenza viruses are making people sick, the extent to which those viruses are spreading, and how well the previous season’s vaccine protects against those viruses.”
The 2020-2021 flu season transmission was drastically diminished, the release states, by stay-at-home orders, social distancing, masking and other measures intended to curb COVID-19.
“The most at risk from suffering severe complications from influenza are those 65 years of age and older, those under 6 months, people with high-risk conditions and pregnant women,” the release says. “Just like the COVID-19 vaccines, the flu vaccine will not 100% prevent you from becoming ill with the virus, but should you contract it, your symptoms are far less severe and your risk of being hospitalized is greatly reduced.
“Please don’t delay care. Seek treatment soon if your symptoms become unmanagement and follow your provider’s instructions carefully.”
Moffat County Public Health has flu vaccines available for all ages 6 months and older regardless of insurance status, the release reads. You can also get your annual vaccine at your local pharmacy and primary care doctor’s office.
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