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Moreover, they are getting ready for next season with plans in place to purchase double the amount of anti-flu vaccines in autumn 2019, up from 41,000 a year ago to 80,000 for 2019.

CDC officials say there were 510 confirmed influenza cases through January 5 - down from 768 during the same time period in 2017-2018.

"After the vaccine, it takes a couple of weeks, because you have to build antibody", Lee said.

With illness spreading and months of flu season left to go, experts still recommend getting a flu shot.

- Officials announced Tuesday that the first pediatric flu death in New Jersey this influenza season has been reported to the Department of Health.

"It's not too late in the season to get your flu shot", said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer.

There were two main reasons for last year's epidemic: the predominant strain of flu virus circulating among the population was especially aggressive; and the 2018 vaccine did not match the strains of flu that most people were coming down with.

"If you are sick with flu-like symptoms - fever, shaking, chills, shivering, cough - make sure you are not exposing other people", he said. The return of the quadrivalent vaccine (LAIV4) by The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the CDC is expected to enlarge and improve protection and coverage.

Q: How do you and your team measure how well the vaccine is protecting people against the flu in a given year?

Arnold Monto, professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, has been studying the spread of the flu virus and the effectiveness of vaccines and antiviral medications for more than five decades.

The most common strain that's circulating is H1N1, which is more likely to affect young adults and children, rather than the elderly.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu shot for everyone ages 6 months or older.

Pregnant women or people with medical conditions related to their heart, lungs or immune system are encouraged to ask their primary care provider about antiviral medication as soon as they get symptoms.

But it's not too late to get one now.

Dr. Siiri Bennett, state epidemiologist at the Maine CDC, said that flu season is unpredictable, and can peak at any time. Fourteen percent said they were planning to get a flu shot but had not done so yet.


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