COVID-19 Notice »

Infectious Diseases

Keep vaccinating against flu

Flu is on the rise and causing severe illness in many Minnesotans. The current predominant circulating strain in the U.S. and Minnesota is A H3N2, which in the past has been associated with more hospitalizations and deaths in persons 65 and older and young children, compared to other age groups.

We don’t think the season has peaked yet. Even after the peak, there will still be a significant amount of flu circulating and vaccination is still very important.

Here are three key reminders for providers:

1. It is not too late to vaccinate! Continue to recommend flu vaccine until it expires.

  • We do not know the vaccine effectiveness for the circulating strains in the U.S. yet.
  • Reports of low vaccine efficacy from Australia should not discourage providers from recommending flu vaccination to their patients.
  • Vaccination is the best thing a person can do to prevent flu and mitigate its serious effects.

2. Consider flu high on the list of possible diagnoses for ill patients, especially those with upper respiratory symptoms, even if they have been vaccinated.

  • Even in a perfectly matched flu season, the vaccine won’t prevent every case of flu.
  • Use antivirals to treat all hospitalized patients and all high-risk patients with flu symptoms.
  • Antiviral drugs work best when treatment is started within 2 days of illness onset, but clinical benefit has been observed even when treatment is started later.

3. Along with vaccination, remind patients and colleagues to:

  • Stay home if you are ill.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands often.

For more information please visit: MN Dept of Health Special Edition of Got Your Shots? by clicking HERE 

Call your medical clinic to schedule an appointment today for needed vaccines

The MnVFC program is available at area medical clinics and Countryside Public Health for those children without health insurance coverage. Contact your medical clinic or Countryside Public Health at 320-839-6135, or Gloria at 1-800-255-0736, if you need a current copy of your child’s immunization record in MIIC or if you have questions on what vaccines your child needs.

 

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