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Health Tip: Getting a Flu Vaccine

- An annual flu vaccine can help protect you from the nasty effects of the flu virus.

Here's some background information about the flu vaccine, courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • The injected vaccination contains a killed virus. It is approved for people over the age of 6 months.
  • The nasal form of the vaccine is made with a weakened virus, and is approved for people ages 2-49 years. It's not recommended for pregnant women.
  • Approximately two weeks after the vaccination, your body develops the antibodies needed to protect itself from specific strains of the flu virus.
  • Flu season generally runs from October through May. The best months to be vaccinated are October and November, but you can still be vaccinated later.
  • You cannot get the flu from a flu shot, but minor side effects may include swelling, low-grade fever, and aches and pains.
  • Similarly, you cannot develop full-blown flu from the nasal spray vaccine, but minor side effects may include runny nose, headache, and sore throat.
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Posted: October 2007