A new report reveals flu shots may be less effective in people considered overweight.
“There was a recent study that’s recently been reported that shows that people who are overweight may have less of an immune response to the vaccine,” said Cindy Burnett, an Epidemiologist for the Utah Department Of Health.
Health officials say this is a group that tends to have higher complications to flu. Despite the report, experts say getting a flu shot is still the best line of defense.
“It’s very critical that they get vaccinated in spite of those results,” said Burnett. “That is the best protection that they have against the flu.”
The flu has yet to widely circulate across the state of Utah.
“We normally see the flu season pick up in late December, or January, February,” said Burnett.
Heightened activity in other parts of the United States is leading state health officials to believe Utah is in for a busy season.
“It’s typical for us to be low this time of year,” said Burnett. “The activity that’s being seen in the southeast is actually early. We kind of expect probably an early season for Utah.”
The latest numbers show 17 flu hospitalizations across the state including Davis and Salt Lake Counties as well as Southwest Utah.
If you’re considered overweight, health officials suggest talking to your doctor to see if you have options.
Burnett adds, “There is a high-dose flu vaccine, but I believe it’s only approved for people who are 65 years of age and older.”
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