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THE FLU SHOT!

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Vaccination can reduce flu  illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work and school, as well as preventing flu-related hospitalizations. The more people who get vaccinated, the more the rest of us will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot every year by the end of April, if possible. However, getting vaccinated later is also OK. Vaccination should continue throughout the flu season. In addition you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing yourhands as often as possible, to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sickwith flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others. In addition, there are prescription medications called antiviral drugs that can be used to treat influenza illness.  Getting vaccinated before flu activity begins - it helps protect you once the flu season starts in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body’s immune response to fully respond and for you to be protected, so make plans to get vaccinated now. It is recommended that flu vaccination should be taken as long as influenza viruses are circulating, even into November or later.  For everyone, getting vaccinated each year provides the best protection against influenza throughout the flu season. It’s important to get a flu shot every year, even if you were vaccinated the season. The virus mutates rapidly, changing so much that new strains make last year's immune response old news. To do this, the flu virus needs to change so much that it's no longer recognized by anti-flu antibodies, immune proteins that can bind to viruses


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