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Get your flu shot, doc says

Dr. Jonah McIntyre of ACH Family Physicians said it’s very important that everyone should get a flu shot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza, or the flu, is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year.

McIntyre said the only people who shouldn’t get a flu shot are those who are allergic to it or have rare reactions to the vaccine.

He said all should be getting flu shots from age 6 months and onward.

In regard to getting a shot this year, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, McIntyre said this year’s shot, like most, come from an organization that are most likely strains of flu that effects us.
“They look at the southern hemisphere and look at most common strains to determine what four strains to put in the vaccine,” McIntyre said in a telephone interview.

McIntyre said the flu vaccine is comprised of two A influenza strains and two B influenza strains.

“That is based on the most common seen in the southern hemisphere,” he said, adding that the vaccine may not be 100 percent the best guess, but it’s pretty good.

McIntyre said the flu virus can go into an animal species and mutates before jumping into humans. Because of its mutation, the virus becomes more infectious, he said.

“We vaccinate based on those new strains,” he said.

McIntyre said there is some work being done to try and find a universal vaccine.

“That’s the hope that we will have that,” he said.

McIntyre said it’s more important now to get a flu shot because of the pandemic because it’ll help decongest the medical system because the vaccine would allow for more capacity for treating COVID-19 patients.

McIntyre said he vaccinates his family, and he believes that it’s a life-saving technology.

“I’m definitely a proponent of vaccines,” he said. “I implore everyone to get their flu shot, especially this year.”