Labor Day is just ahead, what’s considered the unofficial end of summer, and already public health officials are talking about flu shots.
Deb Scholten, director of the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department in Wayne, says this year’s vaccine should have a similar formula to last year.
“We always hope it’s going to be a good match,” Scholten says. “I know there’s a lot of research going into trying to find more effective ways of determining what we’re anticipating the flu virus will be in the fall.”
Scholten says it’s important that everyone gets a flu shot, especially several groups of people.
“It spreads so quickly once we start coming indoors from the weather,” she says. “Especially vulnerable populations are infants, immuno-compromised people as well as the elderly are very susceptible to the flu.”
During the past season, the state health department reported one child and 16 adults in Nebraska died from the flu.
“The flu kills many more people per year that what we are seeing with some of the diseases that get more headlines, like Ebola and Zika,” Scholten says, “so we take it for granted.”
Scholten says most people can get flu shots for free under the wellness portion of their health insurance. Other low-cost clinics are held around the region.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton