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Medical Edge: Why get a flu shot?

Updated: Friday, October 18 2013, 02:48 PM EDT
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- It's true. There are no reported major flu outbreaks yet this year. So why get the vaccine right now?

'It's very important to get the flu shot prior to the flu season, and so the recommendation is that most people should get it as soon as the vaccination is available, and the CDC says it should occur during the month of October," says Dr. Matt Birkle.

Dr. Birkle is an emergency medicine expert who says it takes about two weeks for your body to build immunity after you get the vaccine. So you don't want to wait until the flu is actually going around.

You can lower your odds of catching it by frequent handwashing, and by staying away from those who are sick. But Dr. Birkle admits, "The flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and to prevent you from carrying it to your loved ones or someone around you."

It is now recommended for all healthy people six months and older, and you do need a new vaccine every year.

You can get the nasal mist if you don't want the vaccine in a shot, and the protection is just as good.

Get it now and you are protected for this years whole flu season.. which is usually through late March.Medical Edge: Why get a flu shot?

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