October is time to get annual flu shot, CDC says

Alicia Farmer
October 3, 2018

It is certainly a good idea to go get your flu shot. Eighty percent of the children who died a year ago were not vaccinated.

Throughout the 2012-2013 flu season, 56,000 people died. The agency recommends almost everyone get vaccinated by the end of October, but adds that it's better to get the vaccine late than not at all. The flu vaccine typically takes time to become fully effective, so time is of the essence.

Some experts have characterized last year's flu season as one of the worst in recent memory.

Despite general advice for college students to get vaccinated, as residence halls serve as a breeding ground for viruses like the flu, many choose not to protect themselves against a potentially fatal virus.

Dr. Robert Leggiadro, an adjunct professor of biology and of geography and the environment at Villanova, says Philadelphia had a population just under 2 million people in 1918 and was fertile ground for the flu. The Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, and the CDC review data each year to determine which strains to include in that year's flu shot.

Many health insurance companies will cover the cost of flu shots for their customers, so students who want to avoid the $20 cost should research options. It's best to get vaccinated as early in the season as possible, as it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop after getting the shot.

Flu vaccinations are available on the NHS but understandably lots of people have questions about their eligibility, the pros and cons and who can and can't get the jab. This year's flu shot does look promising though.

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"It's our best shot, and even if it's not a good match, it's proven to prevent flu cases and deaths", Altrogge said. Make sure to get your flu shot this year.

Some people, such as infants younger than 6 months old and individuals with severely compromised immune systems, can't receive the vaccination. Like the branded version, the generic is for treating patients within 48 hours of when flu-like symptoms appear, like fevers, chills, coughing, muscle aches, congestion, headaches and fatigue.

People can help stop the spread of illness and reduce their chance of catching the flu by getting vaccinated, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if they're sick. They are then weakened or killed and afterward purified to be used in a shot or nasal spray.

A person could also be exposed to a flu virus that is different from the viruses the vaccine is created to protect.

No, the virus is not alive in the flu shot.

She added: "Healthcare staff may choose not to get the jab for fear of allergic reactions, or a phobia around needles".

"Whilst flu can be a very unpleasant viral illness, it can also be very serious - especially for vulnerable groups or those already ill in hospital and undergoing treatment".

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