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Flu Vaccine Packs Extra Punch This Year

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) This years flu vaccination covers four different strands of the flu instead of the customary three. The idea is to make the vaccine more effective while still keeping the people who get it safe.

"Children and teenagers tend to be a little bit more susceptible to the influenza part B and the quadrivalent vaccine has an extra strand of the part B in it," said Hy-Vee Pharmacy Manager Mike Brixius.

Medical professional say protecting against more types of the flu helps because predicting what type of flu will hit isnt easy. Doctors try to look to other regions of the globe, but that doesnt always exactly predict what will hit this side.

"The other side of the world has already gone through their flu season, said Linn County Public Health Nurse Heather Meador. So they look to see what's been going on over there and that helps them to predict what will be happening here."

But those predictions may not always be right, so some Corridor residents try to protect their families as much as possible.

"That's all you can do, said Cedar Rapids resident Judy Blum. You know whether it's going to be totally successful or not."

"If you're covering four bases rather than three, why would you not be more protected?" asked Charles Simms, who says his family gets flu shots but he doesnt.

And if the needles make you squeamish, you can also get your flu vaccine through a nasal spray, which also carries all four vaccines.

"And that's recommended for individuals from two through 49," said Meador.

The nasal vaccine is only recommended for people who dont have asthma, since it will enter the respiratory system. But regardless of how you get vaccinated, pharmacists say its hard to tell how well the vaccines will work.

"It's really hard to know ahead of time whether a flu vaccination is going to be effective. We'll just have to see, said Brixius.

Linn County Public Health says you should get whatever vaccine you can before the flu season starts. They say its better to protect yourself with vaccines and common hygiene practices than not at all.
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