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It’s not too late to get your flu shot | Health

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It’s not too late to get your flu shot
Health, News
It’s not too late to get your flu shot

Chills, fever, sore throat and cough. Headache, muscle pain, weakness and fatigue.  In short, if you have these symptoms, the chances are you have the flu.  And who wouldn’t want to avoid this?

The flu season hasn’t arrived in upstate New York, at least not yet.  But it is coming - you can bet on it.

Starting in September, there has been a highly visible effort by Rochester-area clinics, pharmacies, urgent care centers, physicians and nurse practitioners to offer flu shots to the general public. At the highest risk for getting the flu are people over age 65, children under five, pregnant women, and people with chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes.  But others are still vulnerable, which is why the flu vaccine is “universally” recommended for everyone.

And the fact is, even in late November, it’s not too late to get your flu shot for the upcoming flu season.

Each year, vaccine manufacturers work with the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control to formulate a new version of the vaccine. Why?  Because the flu virus changes from year to year, so if you had a flu shot last year, it won’t protect you. You need this year’s version.

The flu vaccine enables the body to build up antibodies that help you resist the virus, minimizing your chances of becoming sick. Once a vaccine is given to an individual, it takes a week or two for these antibodies to build up to full strength. 

We start to see patients with flu when the weather gets cold in upstate New York, usually beginning in January, though December cases are not unheard of.  The season lasts until early spring.

So, there’s still time to get the shot and give it the few weeks it needs to build your body’s defenses to full strength.  But don’t wait too long.  Before you know it, January will be here.

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