U.S. Surgeon General and former Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams recently recommended people get flu vaccinations this month. This year’s vaccine is changed to make it more effective and accessible.
Last year’s flu vaccination was about 40 percent effective. Over the past few years another option, the flu mist, was unavailable.
Indiana University Health Dr. Cole Beeler says this is because one of the predominant viruses included in the mist vaccine wasn’t a good match.
"It’s been swapped out with a new H1N1 virus and the CDC now recommends that it should be OK for this vaccine to be used so it is an option this year for patients," says Beeler.
A combination of three to four viruses are put into the influenza vaccine based on a CDC forecast.
"So last year there was a lot of concern that the virus’s in the flu vaccine were not lining up with what we were seeing circulating in the southern hemisphere," says Beeler.
Last season, 336 people in Indiana died from flu complications.