COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - We are in peak flu season and the state of Georgia has seen some of the highest numbers when it comes to flu-related deaths, so one Georgia university is taking steps to develop a new vaccine that could change the game.
Flu season typically lasts through the month of February and health officials are urging you to get the flu shot to help your community and family healthy.
“If you get the flu shot now, you have about two weeks to build your immunity so you’re fully immune from the flu,” says Pam Kirkland with the Columbus Health Department.
Instead of getting the flu shot once a year, University of Georgia scientists and doctors are working to make one flu shot last from five to ten years and to protect people from all different strains of influenza.
Researchers will start human trials on two universal vaccine options during non-flu season next summer.
Each year the the flu vaccines change and their goal is to find one that will even start protecting people of strains that don’t exists yet.
The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone six months and older especially for certain people who are at risk for developing complications from the virus like children younger than 5 pregnant women and adults 65 and older.
They also recommend that you know the symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Body aches
There is an alternative for those who would prefer not to get a shot.
“Last year the nasal spray wasn’t given out because it was reduced effectiveness but this year it is available for anyone between 2 and 49 who does not have any other chronic conditions,” says Kirkland.