As long as the flu is spreading, it’s not too late to get the shot

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated against flu every year.

You’ve seen the banners at pharmacies for months. You may even know a friend or family member who recently had the flu. Flu season is well underway and is about to hit its peak. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot, now’s the time to get it — to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Flu, or influenza, is a respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, particularly in young children and older adults. For millions of people every year, the flu can mean a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue and miserable days spent in bed. For some it’s even more serious, causing hospitalizations and even death.

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A flu shot is the most effective way to prevent influenza and its complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated against flu every year. And as long as the flu virus is out there and spreading, it’s not too late.

Robert Hodge, M.D., family physician with Norton Community Medical Associates – Crestwood, thinks it’s critical that every person receive a flu vaccination, no matter how late in the season, which historically starts in October and ends in May.

“Getting the vaccine at any time is better than not getting it at all,” Dr. Hodge said.

It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to offer full immunity to the virus, so don’t wait.


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