The numbers are not entirely reflective of how many people were infected with the flu, Eiting said, as the department only tracked hospitalized cases in Auglaize County.
Last year's flu season was particularly severe with widespread flu activity around the state of Georgia and throughout the country, officials said. A child must be Medicaid-eligible or Medicaid-enrolled, uninsured or lacking health insurance coverage, underinsured or not covered for vaccines, or American Indian or Alaskan Native.
The flu vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu.
Furthermore, a National Foundation of Infectious Diseases (NFID) survey was conducted in October 2017 for college students 18 to 24 years old who were now attending a 2-year or 4-year college or university.
Family members (age 3 and older) and members of the public also can get vaccinated at the flu vaccine clinics.
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The survey also found that doctors' opinions (39 percent), where insurance is accepted (38 percent), and convenience (33 percent) rank among the top three factors in determining where to go for the shot.
How well the vaccines protect people depends on how closely they match the viruses that are ultimately in circulation. Medicare Part B covers both shots, if they are taken at least one year apart.
The vaccine, which is also available as a mist, is recommended for adults of all ages and children 6 months and older, she said. "They think that the flu shot can give you the flu, but it cannot give you the flu, it's not a live virus".
In addition to the quadrivalent flu vaccine, the health department will soon be offering the high-dose flu vaccine for $70 per dose.
10 percent and 20 percent of the population is affected, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
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High severity refers to high influenza-related hospitalization, high levels of outpatient clinic and emergency department visits for the disease.