Solano County health officials expect a regular flu season this year, in contrast to dire concerns last year about a possible swine flu pandemic.
Dr. Michael Stacey of the county Health and Social Services Department said that while swine flu is still present in the environment and immunization against it still will be part of this year’s shot, last year’s massive effort to vaccinate the population appears to have headed off a return of that threat for the 2010-2011 flu season.
“So far this year, we are not experiencing high levels of influenza in California,” he said, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald newspaper.
So, officials will not be offering vaccination clinics statewide, like they did last year, although vaccines are plentiful and available at county health departments and at pharmacies and clinics.
This year’s shot also offers protection against two other flu strains, and only one shot is necessary .
Flu season begins in December and continues through February, the newspaper said.
Gil Chavez of the California Department of Public Health in Sacramento said last year’s vaccination campaign appears to still be making a big difference.
But Chavez said swine flu, also known as H1N1, could still be a threat if people get exposed to the virus and aren’t protected.
“As long as H1N1 is present and there are people who are not vaccinated, there is risk of resurgence,” he said, according to the Times-Herald.
Last year, 579 Californians of all ages died from the swine flu virus, including six people in Solano County, officials said.