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  • Caleb Slinkard | CNHI News Oklahoma

NORMAN — Flu season seems like it has hit Oklahoma with more intensity than usual. This season, in the central region of Oklahoma, which includes Cleveland County, there have been 144 hospitalizations and five deaths.

  • Ian Setliff, Ph.D. Student, Program in Chemical & Physical Biology, Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, Vanderbilt University and Amyn Murji, Ph.D. Student, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, Vanderbilt University

No one wants to catch the flu, and the best line of defense is the seasonal influenza vaccine. But producing an effective annual flu shot relies on accurately predicting which flu strains are most likely to infect the population in any given season. It requires the coordination of multiple health centers around the globe as the virus travels from region to region. Once epidemiologists settle on target flu strains, vaccine production shifts into high gear; it takes approximately six months to generate the more than 150 million injectible doses necessary for the American population.