What Parents Need To Know About The New Flu Vaccine
Scientists have made some great strides in creating vaccines for the 2013-2014 flu season. They are putting great effort into making the vaccine more effective with fewer allergy restrictions. And no wonder.
The pediatric death rate for the flu last season was quite high: 160 children under 18 died as opposed to only 35 the year before. With 69 of those kids having no underlying medical conditions, it’s a little shocking that so many healthy kids so suddenly passed from the flu. Not only that, but over 20,000 children were hospitalized, many under the age of 5.
So this year’s vaccines will have some different and better features so that more people will have the opportunity to get vaccinated and will be better protected.
Cool Feature #1
The newest vaccines will protect against four strains of the flu rather than three. While past vaccines contain two influenza A strains, one B strain, an H1N1 strain, and an H3N2 strain, the new one will contain a second B strain.
What’s The Big Deal?
Influenza A is the most dangerous type of strain. Affecting both animals and humans, this is the kind that is responsible for the epidemics. H1N1 and H3N2 fall into the A strain category as well as stronger versions of the "normal" flu.
Influenza B is only found in humans. Although it does not create epidemics like A strains, it can be very dangerous, particularly in the very young and elderly.
So now there will be more protection from a second B strain. This is especially interesting for those who have young children, as this could be a strain easily passed from child to child in a preschool or daycare setting.
Here’s The Catch
The vaccines with the four strains are still in the works and aren’t available quite yet. They will be soon, but there will still not be enough produced for everyone to get the four-strain vaccination. Read more...
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