Importance of flu shots this season after Australia hit hard by influenza

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – You can get the flu any time of the year, but you may want to get a flu shot now. In the US, most of the time people get the virus during the winter months and its happening now.

Dr. Alan von Gremp says, “We hear of them here and there. I mean there have been a few at some of the other clinics, there have been a few at children’s. um, We have not seen, uh, any here in Hixson yet. We’re always looking for it we’re still screening people and swabbing”.

This year in Australia the flu has been deadly and worse than usual. But, it’s hard to tell if the U.S. will face the same problems.

However, American Family Care physician Dr. Alan von Gremp says when comes to the flu, every year is bad.

He explains, “The flu is just not something to mess with and so that’s why the flu vaccine is such a simple thing to try to prepare. I mean if you have the option of decreasing your risk of getting the flu by 50 to 60 percent you should take it”.

Some places are already offering flu shots. CDC recommends anyone 6 months and older get the vaccination.

Hamilton County Health Dept. Special Projects Supervisor ​Sharon Goforth says, “If you’re going to be around children less than six months of age because we cannot vaccinate them, make sure that you are vaccinated and as parents make sure that anyone who’s going to potentially have contact with your small child that cannot be vaccinated, make sure that they’re all vaccinated”.

Flu shots are becoming more available to those people who have allergies to the egg-based vaccinations. But this year don’t expect to see much of the flu mist.

“The CDC once again this year had recommended not using the flu mist there were a couple years where we know that the antibody response was not what we had anticipated that it should’ve been,” said Goforth.

The Hamilton County Health Department will start offering the shots on Monday. American Family Care clinics already have them available.

Categories: Local News

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