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See how Alabama’s flu shot rate compares to other flu seasons


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KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 03: Enbal Sabag, a nurse practitioner, wears personal protective equipment as she administers a flu shot to Noel Janzen at CVS and MinuteClinic Pharmacy on September 03, 2020 in Key Biscayne, Florida . Flu shots are available at nearly 10,000 CVS pharmacies and at about 100 MinuteClinic locations across the country. Health experts say it’s important to get the flu shot this year, as the dangers of having COVID-19 and the flu simultaneously are still unknown. (Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

Your annual flu shot protects you and those around you from the flu virus, which could be fatal. You should not get the vaccine too early, or you may have reduced immunity by the time the flu virus begins to circulate in your community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting a flu shot in September or October to prepare for flu season in late fall and winter.

Flu shots are updated every year to protect you against circulating viruses for the upcoming flu season. Vaccines are readily available in places such as health services, community clinics, and pharmacies. It takes about two weeks after vaccination to produce enough antibodies against the virus to fully protect yourself against the flu.

To determine influenza vaccine coverage for each state, Stacker looked at the CDC’s Influenza Vaccine Coverage Trends report. This source includes six-month coverage estimates based on surveys of residents of each state during the 2010-2011 to 2019-2020 influenza seasons. States are ranked according to their average immunization coverage over these ten seasons. Data is as of October 1, 2020. There are no links; ranks are based on numbers with additional decimal points which have been rounded off in history.

Keep reading to see your condition’s flu shot status over the past decade.

Alabama in numbers

– Average influenza vaccination coverage, 2010-20: 45.1%
– 1.6% lower than the national average
– Season with the best coverage: 2019-20 (48.4%)
– Season with worst coverage: 2011-12 (41.6%)

The Alabama State Medical Association, the Alabama Hospital Association and the Alabama Department of Public Health came together this fall to encourage residents to get their flu shots. As part of this initiative, these organizations organized Flu Fact Fridays on social media.

Almost anyone over 6 months of age can get a flu shot, including pregnant women and most people with allergies to eggs. Influenza vaccines are given either by intramuscular injection, usually in the upper arm, or by nasal spray. Vaccines can protect you against three different strains of the influenza virus (trivalent vaccines) or four different strains of the virus (quadrivalent vaccines).

The most common side effects of the injectable influenza vaccine are pain at the injection site, muscle pain, and fever. Side effects of the nasal spray vaccine are the same and may also include a runny nose.

People over 65 years of age should receive either a high-dose quadrivalent vaccine, which contains four times the influenza antigen (the ingredient that triggers your body’s immune response) than the standard quadrivalent vaccine, or a vaccine with adjuvant, which contains an ingredient that triggers an immune response to the virus. In the United States, the high-dose vaccine and the adjuvanted vaccine are only approved for people over 65 years of age.

States with the highest influenza vaccination rates

# 1. Rhode Island: Average influenza vaccine coverage 55.9%, 2010-20
# 2. South Dakota: Average influenza vaccine coverage 55.2%, 2010-20
# 3. Massachusetts: Average influenza vaccination coverage of 53.8%, 2010-20

States with the lowest influenza vaccination rates

# 1. Nevada: 38% average influenza vaccine coverage, 2010-20
# 2. Florida: 38.8% average flu vaccination coverage, 2010-20
# 3. Idaho: 39.4% average flu vaccination coverage, 2010-20


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