Wolf Administration offering free flu vaccine clinics

Simone Groper receives a flu shot at a Walgreens phramacy

Dr. Pechon says she's encountered patients who believe the flu shot can give you the flu.

Overall, this year's vaccine is 36 percent effective, meaning it reduces the number of doctor visits by 36 percent, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

The CDC said the flu vaccine is usually more effective against type B viruses and H1N1 than it is against H3N2. In addition, the vaccine is 42 percent effective against the influenza B viruses, which are also circulating, the researchers said. That said, receiving the flu shot can reduce the severity of flu symptoms.

"The risk for H3N2 associated medically attended influenza illness was reduced by more than half (59 percent) among vaccinated children", the team noted.

That's no surprise. Australia and Canada had already released dismal effectiveness numbers - 10 and 17 percent respectively - against the H3N2 flu, a strain that is notoriously resistant to typical vaccines.

In order to receive a flu shot from the West Milford Health Department, residents must make an appointment for one the township's flu clinics by calling 973-728-2726 or emailing nurse1@westmilford.org.

With this year's severe flu season, one statistic is especially chilling.

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The state Department of Public Health said Thursday that 14 flu-related deaths were reported last week alone.

This year, middle-aged people are being stricken at almost twice the rate seen in 2014-2015, although health officials aren't sure why. One very exhausted, very hard-working nurse has some ideas for how people can do that and so she posted a video full of advice based on seeing ER visitors during flu season.

Over the past five years, the flu season has lasted 11 to 20 weeks, but this is only week 12, and flu activity is still increasing. That's the highest weekly level CT has seen since the 2009 swine flu pandemic. During each of those seasons, flu accounted for around 710,000 hospitalizations and 56,000 deaths.

"The biggest problem for me was seeing people come in to visit and not only being exposed to this bad flu virus, but not taking the correct precautions to get themselves disinfected before going out in the world", Lockler told the Pensacola News Journal.

This year's flu had killed 63 children by February 3, the CDC said.

The flu vaccine is doing a poor job protecting older Americans and others against the bug that's causing most illnesses.

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