Healthy Living: Local News
Your Health: Get Your Flu Shot Now
Story Updated: Oct 4, 2012
Flu shots are easily accessible.
They're being offered by drug stores, physician's offices and public health agencies.
Although the last flu season was a mild one, that may not be the case this year and the flu is nothing to fool around with.
Influenza is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States among people of all ages.
The vaccine is your best defense.
"Influenza vaccine is for 6 months of age upward through adults and everyone should be vaccinated within that age group to protect everyone in our community against this can-be-deadly disease," said Patricia Esford of Jefferson County Public Health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the flu vaccine be administered as soon as it's available.
That means now.
Jefferson County Public Health began offering the flu vaccine just this week.
There it's $35 and cash or Medicare Part B are accepted.
This year the agency ordered less vaccine than ever because of its wide availability.
"Pharmacists now can give vaccines and that's why the major shift from years back when public health gave most of the vaccines in the community," said Esford.
Public health recommends that you get your vaccine from your physician or pharmacist if possible.
By getting a flu shot, you are not only protecting yourself, you're also protecting those too young to be immunized who are the most vulnerable to illness.
The influenza vaccine is 70 to 90 percent effective and if a vaccinated person still gets sick, it's usually a less severe case.