Seasonal Flu Shot?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  reports that 36% of adults have already gotten the flu vaccine — this is months before the virus normally spreads through the season.  Should you get vaccinated?

It’s a good idea… 

According to the CDC, everyone six months of age and up should get the recommended yearly flu vaccine to protect against the flu virus.  After being vaccinated, it takes two weeks for the immune system to fully respond.

According to the CDC’s website on Seasonal Influenza, the 2011-2012 flu vaccine will protect against three viruses that you may or may not have heard circulating in the news: influenza A (H1N1), (H3N2) and an influenza B virus.

Those who are considered “high risk” have the most liklihood to develop complications.  Those groups are children ( <5 years old, and especially <2 years old), adults (>65 years), pregnant women, those who are already immuno-compromised and have a chronic illness.

Best time to get it?

Right now!  In the fall through right now before the holidays hit is the best time to get protected.

Side-effects from the flu shot?

According to the CDC, soreness in the arm (since the vaccine is given intramuscular) might occur.  Some low-grade fevers, itching and aches may happen as well.   From my own experience with the vaccine, which I take ever year in October, I never get any symptoms afterwards.

Where can I get the flu shot?

Your doctor should be able to administer the vaccine.  If you do not have a regular doctor, there are flu clinics or stores that will provide the vaccine for free.  Check out www.flu.gov, and type in your zip code to find a place near you.

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