Flu shots are available all over the city and health officials say the time to get on is now.
The flu season is upon us.
And that means one thing: get your shot. Now.
Besides, this year’s vaccine is supposed to be stronger and better, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Flu outbreaks can start as early as October and linger until May. No one knows exactly what the flu strain will be this year because the virus constantly mutates.
Last year’s outbreak was the worst in a decade. It left 146 children dead nationally, says a spokesman for the CDC.
In New York City, three children died, according to the New York City Department of Health.
Only deaths of children are reported, according to a spokeswoman for the city health department.
Last season was a particularly heinous season because the virus that spread so rapidly was not the virus in the vaccine. This made the immunization effective in only less than one quarter of all cases.
On a good year, it is 50 to 60 percent effective.
This year’s vaccine has been changed to reflect the known strains of flu circulating and is supposed to protect against at least three strains, including the one that felled so many last season, according to the CDC.
Typical flu symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough and aches and for people with weakened immune systems, contracting it can be serious.
Since it takes about two weeks for the body to react to the vaccine, the CDC recommends that everyone over 6-months-old get a flu shot as soon as possible.
Flu vaccines are available at many doctors’ offices, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers.
“Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and often your school, college health center, or work,” says Ian Branam, a spokesman for the CDC.
Visit the Health Map Vaccine Finder to locate where to get a flu vaccine.
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