December 1, 2021–11:40 a.m.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reduced population immunity due to lack of flu virus activity since March 2020 could result in a possibly severe flu season this year.
Dr. Gary Voccio, health director for the 10-county Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest District said it’s not too late to get a flu shot.
“We are seeing some flu cases, but not in Northwest Georgia, yet,” he said. “I think we may have had one, reportedly, a few weeks ago, but in Georgia, this past week, there have been nine hospitalizations in the metro-Atlanta area for flu. Unfortunately, we’ve had one death reported from flu in metro Atlanta.”
Flu shots are recommended for anyone ages 6 months and older.
“The flu vaccines are a benefit but they are not totally protective against flu,” Dr. Voccio added. The CDC reports that, on average, it’s effective about 40% of the time. The flu virus has so many antigenic drifts and shifts in it. It does shift quickly, and hopefully, these vaccines will be effective. However, they are not completely effective, as any vaccine is not 100%, as we are finding out with COVID.”
Call the health department or talk to your healthcare provider about getting a flu shot.