After a largely unsuccessful national run of flu vaccinations last year, officials say this year’s vaccine is projected to perform much better against a previously-undiagnosed strain that caused health concerns last year. Flu vaccinations are normally expected to be 50% to 60% effective, but last year, their success rate reached only about 13% efficiency.
The 171 million vaccination doses produced this year - about 40 million already shipped - contain changed components of Infleunza B alongside H3N2, which officials said should help bring success rates back to their expected levels.
Van Do-Reynoso, Public Health Director in Madera County, said influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. During the last flu season, Madera County recorded one death associated with influenza and one intensive care unit hospitalization among residents 0-64 years-old. De-Reynoso said a yearly flu vaccination is the best protection to prevent the virus.
Mountain Area flu clinics
Flu vaccinations are being provided by the Madera County Health Department for anyone 12 years or older at $5 a shot, with two clinics scheduled this month in the Mountain Area.
In Oakhurst, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, health officials will provide shots at the Mountain Christian Center in a drive-thru clinic at 40299 Highway 49, behind True Value Home Center.
On Friday, Oct. 16, shots will be given 10 - 11 a.m., at a drive-thru clinic at the North Fork Post Office, 33173 Road 222.
Appointments are not required for the clinics. Additional county clinics are scheduled for in the Valley for Oct. 6 (Madera St. Joachim Catholic Church - 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.), Oct. 20 (Chowchilla Save Mart - 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.), and Oct. 27 (Madera Trinity Lutheran Church, 9 a.m. - noon).
Details: Madera County Public Health Department, (559) 675-7893, goo.gl/EnWr2N.