The Ingham County Health Department is gearing up for another flu season.
It’s hard to predict how severe a flu season might be or how effective this year’s vaccine is. Officials say that while you might still get the flu, it’s likely to be less severe if you’ve had a flu shot.
Ingham County Health Department Health Officer Linda Vail reminds parents of babies that those under six months old can’t be vaccinated for the flu. She suggests “ring vaccinating” of parents and others close to babies. “To the extent that we vaccinate around them,” Vail explains, “we protect them as well.”
The very young and the very old are most at risk of coming down with the flu, or having more severe cases. Vail says it isn’t easy to predict how severe the flu season might be, explaining that “there were some pediatric deaths last year, a number of pediatric deaths. Not here in Ingham County. Hospitalization rates were at a high as well as deaths in children. One-hundred-eighty-three children died from the flu last year, and about 80% of those had not received a flu shot."
The flu vaccine is widely available. The Ingham County Health Department’s next public flu clinic is on Wednesday at their South Cedar Street location in Lansing.