© 2024 Wyoming Public Media
800-729-5897 | 307-766-4240
Wyoming Public Media is a service of the University of Wyoming
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Transmission & Streaming Disruptions
A regional collaboration of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Flu Vaccine Fell Short Last Year, But Experts Say Getting Your Flu Shot Is Still Critical

Flu vaccine
Creative Commons Zero - CC0
Flu vaccine

The flu epidemic was especially deadly last year. And our regionwas no exception. Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died in the U.S. from the flu virus last season, including a record high of 180 children.  

"Last year’s influenza season was actually the worst influenza season that we have on record since we began this type of surveillance in 2004,” said Colorado state epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy.

Herlihy said this was, in part, because last year’s H3N2 virus was a particularly aggressive strain and one that didn’t respond well to the flu vaccine. But she says getting a flu shot is still the best method we have to prevent a bad outbreak this year.

“Receiving the influenza vaccine,” Herlihy said, “is not just about protecting yourself from influenza but also protecting your community, protecting older adults and young kids and those populations that are most vulnerable to severe infection.”

The vaccine is available now and Herlihy advises getting it right away or at least by the end of October. As for young kids or needle-phobic adults, Herlihy said there’s a nasal mist vaccine returning to the market this year.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Copyright 2021 KRCC. To see more, visit KRCC.

Ali Budner is KRCC's reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a journalism collaborative that unites six stations across the Mountain West, including stations in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana to better serve the people of the region. The project focuses its reporting on topic areas including issues of land and water, growth, politics, and Western culture and heritage.
Related Content