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Older people advised to get free flu jabs this autumn

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There had been expectations of a potentially severe season given the high levels of flu-related hospitalisation and death seen during the Northern Hemisphere winter

"The vaccination is given as a nasal spray which is a safe and effective way of protecting not only the children themselves, but the people they may come into contact with".

She experienced that herself, Johnson said. Last month, a Wake County school board member died after being diagnosed with influenza.

"The World Health Organization does a great job of predicting what influenza viruses will be most widespread during a given flu season", says Webster.

Your immune system may be strong enough to protect you from experiencing flu symptoms, but what about your grandparents, your baby nephew, or your friend with a weakened immune system? According to the CDC, "flu vaccination prevented an estimated 5.3 million influenza illnesses, 2.6 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 85,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations during the 2016-2017 influenza season". Flu season typically peaks in January and February.

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women. And people who may have an allergy to the vaccine.

Overall, in the a year ago, despite what seems like a low effectiveness rate, the flu shot still managed to cut back on a person's risk of having to go to the doctor's office by 40 percent. This includes being exposed to the flu virus before your shot takes effect, contracting a different strain of the virus, or having adverse, flu-like side effects because of the vaccine.

Vaccinated people are also less likely to make coworkers and classmates sick. They use a high-pressure jet injector which penetrates the skin.

The Health Center encouraged students to receive the flu shot because "besides reducing illness and severity and getting the flu, it helps protect others who haven't been vaccinated or (those in) an at-risk population", Albert said.

The flu epidemic impacts Nebraska every year. The vaccine is covered by most insurance plans.

"It's important to get the flu vaccine as soon as it's available in the community", said Dr. Rehm. But in a good year, vaccines may only be 50 to 60 percent effective, according to the CDC.

The CDC recently reported that the flu was responsible for as many as 80,000 deaths last winter. For most healthy people it will usually clear up within a week, albeit a fairly unpleasant week. Getting yourself vaccinated will not only protect you from getting the flu, but will protect those that live or work with you.

This year, new locations were added to the list of vaccination sites, including the Business School and the Eaton Residential College patio.

The Minnesota Department of Health recommends to wash hands and clean commonly touched surfaces such as door knobs, refrigerator handles, phones and water faucets often.

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