As flu season nears, DAK urges people to get early vaccine

Srinagar: With flu season just around the corner, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today urged people to get early flu vaccine that would protect them from influenza illness.

President DAK and H1N1 expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan said now is the time to get the vaccine. “CDC recommends everyone 6 months and old should get a flu shot by the end of October. Because it takes two weeks for vaccine to become fully effective, it is best to get a shot now, before the flu season arrives, which will likely begin later this month,” he said in a statement.

He added getting a flu shot early reduces illnesses, doctors’ visits, hospitalization and death.

“Vaccine is the single best defense against flu. It was because of boost in immunization that previous flu season was mild, as against 2014-2015 season, when H1N1 (Swine Flu) outbreak hit the valley due to low vaccination rates,” he said.

“This year’s flu vaccine has been updated to protect against several flu strains, including H1N1 strain. While other strains are dangerous to high risk individuals, Swine Flu attacks healthier adults,” he said.

Dr Nisar said most of the people infected with H1N1 during 2015 outbreak, which left a score of people dead, were healthy adults.

“This season, nasal spray vaccine, popular among kids and needle-shy adults, is not recommended for use, as it was found ineffective. Those with “egg allergy” can receive vaccine, but in a medical setting, under the supervision of a doctor,” he said.

He said while CDC recommends vaccine for all, it is especially needed in too young, old, pregnant, people with medical condition and healthcare workers.

“The vaccine not only protects children themselves, but keeps folks around them safe. Studies have confirmed that vaccine reduces hospitalization and death in elderly. In addition to protecting pregnant women from flu, vaccine protects infants during the first six months of their life, when they are too young to receive the vaccine,” he added. (PTK)





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