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WHY GET THE SHOT?

DON’T BE FOOLED BY APPARENT WAXING AND WANING OF INFLUENZA INFECTION, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

If you somehow don’t manage to get an influenza vaccine in the next six weeks or so, should you just forget about it as most influenza is over by then?  No, you should get the vaccine anyway.  Aaron Millstone, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, explains why.

MILLSTONE:  In one of the influenza pandemics in the 1950s, there was a very similar pattern.   There was an increase in the spring and then it went away in the summer and came back in the early fall, and as vaccine production ramped up, people felt that they weren’t going to be able to get the vaccine out in time, because the virus waned in circulation in November, but then sure enough, the virus came back again in January and February.  So we don’t know exactly what to expect so I think that when the vaccine comes available, even if we’re seeing a drop off in the amount of influenza circulating, the push for vaccine is still important.                :34

This influenza season and vaccine season are likely to be unique in any case as at least two vaccines will likely be required.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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