With flu season approaching, it's time for vaccination

First flu-related death of the season hits Edmonton

"In the state and in the country, we seem to be having an earlier-than-usual flu season this year", said Dr. Larry Madoff, a director in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

It is estimated that flu vaccines helped avert 40,000 deaths between 2005 and 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. On average, the CDC says flu kills about 24,000 Americans each year, and last year, the toll included 105 children.

The predominant strain is H3N2 which mutates rapidly and often results in vaccines being less effective.

But they say it's still extremely important for people to get vaccinated, as herd immunity - when enough members of a community get vaccinated to prevent a risky outbreak - can protect vulnerable members of the community, like children, seniors and people with serious illnesses that impact their immune system.

A flu shot is a vaccination made of inactive flu strains.

According to the health department, 35 people have been hospitalized across Ohio.

First flu-related death of the season hits Edmonton
With flu season approaching, it's time for vaccination

The Healthcare Foundation donated its remaining 110 vaccines to Public Health, which administers them to schoolchildren for free.

New weekly statistics issued by Alberta Health Services show five Albertans who contracted the flu this season have died as of November 25, including the first case in Edmonton zone.

CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.

You can ask your doctor, or the local pharmacy about getting the vaccine.

For Calgary's Laura Hampton, any protection against the flu is good protection when it comes to her one-year-old son Jack. One way communities are working on getting more people vaccinated against influenza is by holding school located flu clinics. The self-pay cost of vaccines is $25 and the high-dose vaccine for people 65 or older cost is $55.

And for those anxious about allergies from eggs used in the production process, two more vaccines are egg-free. Even at reduced effectiveness, flu vaccination prevents millions of illnesses and tens of thousands of flu-related hospitalizations each year. And it states getting the flu vaccination is the single best way to protect yourself from the flu and its consequences.

Related news: