By Emily Roehler, Weekend Meteorologist - bio | email
There are some big changes this
season in the flu shot people get every year.
This season the dose you get may be
more powerful than ever before and scientists have reported progress on making
the annual ritual a thing of the past.
Every year doctors look at the flu
strains from around the world. They try to predict which one will hit here at
home so they can choose the strains to vaccinate for.
Usually the vaccine covers three
strains of flu. This year, for the first time, it will cover four.
Doctors hope this will increase the
odds patients will stay healthy.
They are only making about 30-million
of these more powerful vaccines so interested patients will have to vaccinate
early to get one. The rest of the 140-million will cover the normal three types
For seniors there is even more good
news. Doctors have developed a stronger vaccine, a "superdose," four times more
powerful than normal. This superdose will be aimed at those over 65 years of
age as they are the ones in most danger from flu.
In even more groundbreaking news
about the flu, a new study suggests that scientists may have found one
characteristic all flu viruses have in common. This is a first step toward a
vaccine which would protect the public from all flu strains with one shot.