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The Flu, "It's Definitely Here Early" says Shannon Pediatrician

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Getty Images  David McNew

Some people with a history of GBS should not get this vaccine.

But Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, stressed that "100 percent of health care workers should be vaccinated".

The flu shot, of course, is not flawless, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says getting vaccinated reduces the chance of catching the flu by 40 to 60 percent.

Our local clinic providers, pharmacies, and public health offices are offering many flu clinics this fall.

The vaccines are generally very safe. Health officials suggest checking with a primary care provider if there is a question. If that rate had been 5 percent higher, another 490,000 illnesses and 7,000 hospitalizations could've been avoided, according to CDC estimates, Price said. Serious cases of flu can result in hospitalization or death. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) urge Coloradans ages 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine, ideally before the end of October.

In the meantime, US officials are urging Americans to get their flu shot before the virus begins circulating widely.

Experts couldn't point to one explanation for the disparity in vaccination rates across states and age groups, but a variety of reasons including lack of education and awareness, apathy to the vaccine and the simple idea that many people don't like needles or getting shots.

Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing and close contact. Getting the flu will cause you to miss work or school, along with your favorite activities. While their effectiveness varies from year to year, most provide modest to high protection against influenza. Nurses manning the special drive-through clinic will administer the shot to participants 18 years of age or older right in their vehicles.

Call ahead to check on availability or to schedule an appointment, if necessary.

In June 2016, the CDC reported the "nasal spray" vaccine was only 3 percent effective. For example, in a 2009 experiment, adults who were otherwise sedentary started implementing more aerobic exercises like walking into their daily routines, and over the course of 10 months, they "displayed higher average influenza antibody counts 20 weeks after a flu vaccine". Seniors only need to get that shot once.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price receives a flu vaccination Thursday from Sharon Walsh-Bonadies during a news conference in which he recommended that everyone ages 6 months and older be vaccinated against influenza each year. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the findings on its FluVaxView Web site and in two reports in the latest edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

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