The flu season could be made worse by the spate of recent hurricanes and wildfires that have disrupted medical routines and forced people into close contact at shelters. - From USA TODAY
Nearly 47% of Americans got the vaccine last year, a 1.2% increase from the year before, but still not good enough, Price said, before taking off his jacket and rolling up his shirt sleeve to get a shot.
The flu vaccine does not offer perfect protection, said William Schaffner, medical director of National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, an independent education and training organization that led Thursday’s news conference.
The vaccine is effective 40% to 60% of the time, he said, but it also reduces the risk of severe disease and hospitalization.
Anyone over 6 months old is eligible to get a flu shot; children receiving their first-ever flu shot need a sequence of two shots, according to Patricia Stinchfield, a pediatric nurse practitioner in infectious disease/immunology at Children’s Minnesota.
And everyone can make getting the vaccine less stressful: Breathe through your mouth, hang your arms loose like spaghetti and imagine your favorite place in the world, Stinchfield advised.