9/5/2013 5:18 PM
by Rebecca Turco
BECKLEY - New flu vaccines that promise extra protection are available this fall, but they are in limited supply.
Quadrivalent vaccines will guard against four strains of the flu instead of the usual three. The four-in-one vaccines are so new they will only make up around 20 percent of flu vaccine doses, but the Beckley-Raleigh County Health Department has them available.
Candance Hurd, director of nursing at the Beckley-Raleigh County Health Department, explained quadrivalent vaccines offer protection against an additional strain of the Type B flu, to which children are more susceptible. "You see more of the Type B illness in the children versus the older [generation], so it's important for our population to get us protected," Hurd said.
A model from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the new vaccine could prevent as many as 485 deaths a year, depending on how much Type B flu is spreading.
Hurd encouraged folks to get vaccinated later this month or near October. You can contact your health care provider to find out which flu vaccines they offer. To reach the Beckley-Raleigh County Health Department, call 304-252-8531.