Health officials: Time to get your flu shot

A 9-year-old gets a flu shot in 2010 at Cleveland City Hall

A 9-year-old gets a flu shot in 2010 at Cleveland City Hall

"When you get your flu shot it can take up to two or three weeks for your body to fully go through the process".

However, Australia also experienced significant cases of influenza B, said Skowronski, and parts of Canada appear to be mimicking that pattern in the early months of the Northern hemisphere's flu season. In addition to DHEC clinics, many local providers - including doctors' offices, clinics, pharmacies, college health centers, schools and workplaces - now offer flu vaccines.

Flu shot producers expect to make between 151 million and 166 million doses of vaccine this flu season. Flu related complications can include pneumonia and dehydration.

This possibility underscores the need to strive toward a "universal" influenza vaccine that will protect against seasonal influenza drift variants as well as potential pandemic strains, with better durability than current annual vaccines.

The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a vaccine.

For answers to questions about the flu and the flu vaccine, people can access the CDC website at www.cdc.gov, or contact the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department at 325-646-0554.

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"Anything that you can do to help prevent your family from getting the flu is very beneficial", said Altmann, who was not involved in the CDC research.

"This is the time to get a flu shot", said Mills.

Flu activity, which has been increasing since the start of November, is now higher than usual for this time of year, according to a report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It may not sound like a disaster, since this year's flu shot is only 10 percent effective against the difficult-to-stop H3N2 strain.

"Are doctors who administer the vaccines supposed to earn spiritual merit", she asked, in a sarcastic reference to comments by Premier William Lai (賴清德) in October asking caregivers to look past their low salaries and regard their work as a way to earn spiritual merit.

"But we can not say we will go on to experience the kind of severe season Australia had, in part because we ourselves had a fairly severe epidemic due to H3N2 in 2016-17", Skowronski said. Flannery said highest-risk patients are the elderly, pregnant women and infants, and people who have underlying conditions, such as lung or heart conditions. "And there are a lot of H1N1 and B viruses out there", Brammer said.

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