Flu season approaches

Sep 27, 2016

Flu season is nearly upon us.

Already, clinics and pharmacies are offering flu vaccine.

This year’s vaccine has changed.

"They've changed the 'A' strain vaccine, because of what is circulating in the southern hemisphere," said state Health Department infuenza coordinator Jill Baber. "They've also switched which influenza 'B'  is in the trivalent vaccine."

Baber said there are two types of the 'B" strain. She said both are in the quadrovalent vaccine.

This year, the flu mist -- which was taken through the nostrils instead of injection -- will not be available.

"Last year, there were some efficacy problems with the flu mist, meaning it wasn't working as expected," Baber said. "This year, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is not recommending the flu mist. Instead, CDC recommends you get the flu shot."

Baber said last year was a relatively mild year for flu. But she saids that shouldn’t be a predictor for this year.

"Influenza is unpredictable," Baber said. "People shouldn't get complacent."