Last year's flu vaccine wasn't very effective. This year's looks more promising

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We're coming off a deadly flu season.

The flu is primarily spread person-to-person, mainly by droplets when the infected person coughs, sneezes or even talks.

An alternative form of the flu vaccine will be available for children who are unable to have the nasal spray.

Flu vaccines the past two years had about 20 percent efficacy versus H3N2, the type of flu that sickened most people those years. What is influenza? According to the CDC, influenza is a "contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs".

If your child can not have a vaccine, the flu mist is back this year.

"Don't wait. Get your flu shot early in the season to protect yourself, your family and those to whom you provide care", Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said in a release from the province.

John Knighton, medical director, said: 'Thank you to all of our staff who have had their flu vaccinations. However, there may be no or few symptoms so he or she is spreading the virus unknowingly.

In addition, if you are exposed to someone else who has the flu virus, you may not get sick, but you can pass on the virus to others.

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However, scientists tucked away in Wellington are now a step closer to finding a universal flu vaccine that could last up to five years.

The Ministry encourages specific at-risk groups to get the flu vaccine. There is no way you can get the flu.

It can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, so the government recommends getting the shot soon, before flu season arrives.

It's hard to predict how severe the flu season will be this year, Lin said. At the beginning of the new school term, parents should have received the flu vaccine consent form to make sure their child can receive the free flu vaccine.

Taege did add that older adults - about 65 years old, or older - and people with compromised immune systems might need a higher dosage vaccine.

"With the regular flu shot- which most of us are familiar with- it's not a live virus sort of situation". He noted during the H1N1 pandemic, about 50 per cent of people got the flu shot but after that, it dropped to below 20 per cent. Even people with egg allergiesare now cleared to get it.

You can get the flu jab for free on the NHS from your local GP or pharmacy if you fall into one of the at-risk categories.

The classic advice of hand-washing can also help reduce transmission by direct and indirect contact.

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