The Fulton County Health Department is offering a special high-dose flu vaccine to persons over 65.
Mike Oricko, Fulton County health commissioner, said health department officials tried the high-dose vaccine last year, and no issues were reported.
The vaccine was introduced several years ago.
A health department press release said, “Studies have found that older adults were not responding as well to the standard-dose influenza vaccine, so this higher dose vaccine was introduced.
“It has a slightly different formulation to boost immunity levels in persons ages 65-plus. This group typically has a higher rate of flu-related illness, hospitalization, and death.
“Because this vaccine has been well tolerated, we will use it to vaccinate all adults over 65, but persons will have the option of receiving the standard formulation if they choose,” Oricko said.
Also new this year is a method of injecting the flu vaccine.
It uses a microinjection system, which uses a needle 90% smaller than the standard needle.
The smaller intradermal needle injects the vaccine into the skin, or dermis, as opposed to the muscle.
The vaccine is the same formulation as the standard vaccine, but since it comes in a pre-filled syringe, there are no preservatives.
Available again this year is the flu mist for persons between 2 and 49 years of age. It is intranasal, given through the nose.
This year’s flu vaccination campaign began last month.
Vaccine was administered to 49 adults and 36 children at an Oct. 16 flu shot clinic at the Archbold Community Library.
Each year, the World Health Organization monitors the strains of the infl uenza virus that circulate around the globe, then formulates the flu vaccine to combat three strains.
This year’s vaccine is the same as last year’s and offers protection against the H1N1 and H3N2 strains, plus an influenza B virus.
Because it takes nearly two weeks after receiving the vaccine for protection against the flu, the United States Centers For Disease Control urge people to get vaccinated as soon as it’s available.
Each year, seasonal flu and its complications claim 36,000 lives in the United States.
“Everyone is at risk,” Oricko said. “Take time to get a vaccination for yourself, and encourage your family members to do the same.”