IT KILLS AN ESTIMATED 36,000 PEOPLE IN THE U.S. EACH YEAR!
WHAT IS IT? IT IS INFLUENZA A VIRUS SUB-TYPE H3N2 (SUPER FLU)
WHO (the World Health Organization) has recommended a vaccine for the Northern Hemisphere’s 2011-2012 flu season. See:
AND I COULD NOT FIND IT IN THE COMMUNITY WHERE I THEN LIVED (ZEPHYRHILLS, FLORIDA). I called my doctor’s office; they do not have this vaccine. I called a local Walgreen Pharmacy; they do not have this vaccine. I called a local CVS Pharmacy; they do not have this vaccine. I then called my Medicare Advantage Plan provider’s area representative; she did not even know what I was talking about and suggested that I contact the local health department. I called the Pasco County Healthy Department; and the person that answered the telephone did not know what I was talking about either!
My best guess is that the flu vaccine being administered by local pharmacies and physicians this year is the H1N1 vaccine. A CDC report said that, on the basis of hem agglutinin gene sequencing of four isolates so far, the viruses are expected to be similar to the A/Perth/16/2009-like H3N2 viruses, which are included in the 2010 seasonal vaccine. Since the strain has yet to circulate widely in the United States, last year’s vaccine would offer scant protection.
If the above information is correct, as far as I am concerned getting last year’s H1N1 vaccine is rather pointless and sort of like getting stale candy.
If anyone who reads this post can provide me with more information on this subject (vaccination against the H3N2 virus) – or tell me where I can obtain a flu shot with the vaccines recommended by WHO for protection against the H3N2 virus I would sincerely appreciate hearing from you.