It's time to get your flu shot
No excuses -- you cannot get the
flu from a flu shot
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SPRINGFIELD -- Influenza vaccine
is starting to arrive at local health departments, pharmacies and health
care clinics around the state. The Illinois Department of Public Health,
along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is
recommending everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot as soon as it is
"It's important to get a seasonal flu shot every year, as the flu
strains often change year to year and the vaccine effectiveness
declines," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director LaMar
Hasbrouck. "One of the biggest myths and most common reasons people
don't get a flu shot is because they think they get the flu from a
flu shot. The viruses in the flu vaccine are either killed or
weakened, so you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine."
Every flu season is different and influenza infection can affect
people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the
flu and spread it to others. Flu deaths in the United States each
year range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000
people. During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths
occur in people 65 years and older.
There are three different flu shots
available, as well as a nasal spray:
Regular flu shot
approved for people ages 6 months and older.
High-dose flu shot
approved for people 65 and older.
shot (smaller needle) approved for people 18 to 64 years of age.
The nasal-spray flu vaccine is approved
for healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.
Some minor side effects that could occur are a low-grade fever,
body aches or soreness, and redness or swelling where the shot was
given. If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and
usually last a day or two. Most people who receive influenza vaccine
have no serious problems from it.
To be protected, children ages 6 months through 8 years need two
doses of influenza vaccine, at least four weeks apart, during their
first flu season.
There are some people who cannot be vaccinated, such as babies
younger than 6 months and people who are allergic to the vaccine. It
is important for people who can be vaccinated to do so, to protect
vulnerable populations who could become seriously ill.
People who are at high risk of developing serious complications
if they get the flu include people 65 years and older, pregnant
women, and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma,
diabetes and chronic lung disease.
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This year's flu vaccine is made in the same way as past flu
vaccines and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, 100 million doses of influenza vaccine have been used in
the United States each year on average and the vaccine has an
excellent safety record.
It is not too early to get your flu shot. You can be vaccinated
in September and be protected throughout the entire flu season. The
season typically runs from October through May with the peak in
January. It takes about two weeks after receiving the vaccine for
antibodies to build up in the body, so it is important to get the
vaccine before you start seeing flu activity.
To reduce the spread of influenza and
other contagious diseases, it is always important to practice the
Properly wash your hands frequently.
Cover -- Cover
your cough and sneeze.
Contain -- Contain your germs by
staying home if you are sick.
For more information, visit
http://www.idph.state.il.us/flu/index.htm. To find out where you
can get a flu shot, go to
Department of Public Health file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]