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Q: Should I get the influenza (flu) vaccine?

Posted September 19, 2012 in Advice Column, Downtown

A: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone older than 6 months of age should get the flu vaccine every year. The reason for this is because the flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. The CDC mentions there is an average of 25,000 deaths related to the flu every year, and even healthy people can get really sick from the disease.

With this in mind, the best time to get the flu vaccine is as soon as it is available in your city. This is because the flu season can begin as early as October and last until as late as May. Also, after receiving the vaccine it can take up to two weeks for your body to build up the antibodies to protect you from the flu.

Also, it is important to receive the vaccine yearly because the flu is a seasonal disease and isn’t caused by the same strains of the disease each year. The vaccine contains a combination of three of the most likely strains to affect the United States that year and is available in two different forms, a regular shot and an intranasal spray. Finally, it is not too late to receive the vaccine even if you have forgotten (or procrastinated) until December because the flu season can peak as late as January or February.

If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine yet stop by Hammer Pharmacy and speak with our staff today.

Information provided by Hammer Pharmacy, 600 E. Grand Ave., East Village, 243-4177.





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