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Your Health

Facts On Fighting The Flu

Posted: 3/15/2013

Now is a good time to get a flu shot
Now is a good time to get a flu shot.

(NAPSI)—It’s not too late to vaccinate—get your flu vaccine today!

When it’s after November and you see signs that advertise “Get Your Flu Vaccine,” you might think, “Isn’t it too late?”

The Answer Is No!

For millions of people every season, the flu can mean a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches and fatigue. But sometimes it can be more severe. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized in the United States from flu complications each year. The flu also can be deadly: CDC estimates that from the 1976−1977 season to the 2006−2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.

Anyone can get the flu, but some people are at greater risk for serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia. People at greater risk include:

• Children younger than 5 years old, but especially children younger than 2 years old

• Pregnant women

• People with certain medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease

• People 65 years and older

It’s also important to get vaccinated if you care for anyone at high risk, or for babies younger than 6 months because they are too young to get the vaccine.

CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. It’s available in two forms: a shot and a nasal spray. Flu shot options include the regular flu shot, the new intradermal flu shot, and a high-dose flu shot. While the regular flu shot can be given to most people, the intradermal flu shot is approved for use in adults 18 through 64 years of age, and the high-dose flu shot is for people aged 65 years and older. The nasal spray vaccine is approved only for use in healthy people ages 2 to 49 years who aren’t pregnant.

Children 6 months through 8 years of age getting vaccinated for the first time need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected. Parents should check with the child’s doctor to see if a second dose is needed.

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctors’ offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers. Visit http://flushot.healthmap.org/ to find the nearest location where you and your family can get vaccinated.

For more information about influenza or the flu vaccine, talk to your doctor or nurse, visit www.cdc.gov/flu or call CDC at 800-CDC-INFO.

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