Fewer people rolling up their sleeves to fight flu season

By: Trishna Begam Email
By: Trishna Begam Email

News 12 at This Morning / Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- This year's flu shot is identical to last year, but that doesn't mean you can skip it.

Marianne Simonds, a nurse at the Richmond County Health Department explained the shots are only good for one year.

"So we need to keep updating every year," Simonds said.

The shot will get you through peak flu season by protecting you from H1N1 and all the previous strains.

"Now would be the time to get your flu shot. We are just starting flu season. It will peak within the next couple of months," Simonds added.

But she says many may still skip the flu vaccine because attention on getting the shot has died down from a few years ago.

"We haven't seen that enthusiasm," she said.

Some may choose not to get it because they don't understand how the vaccine works.

"The flu shot is not an active virus. So they will not get sick. It's not uncommon for you to feel achy, but that's because you've been exposed to something before," Simonds said.

You don't just have to roll up your sleeves anymore -- the nasal mist is a less painful option, but the mild live vaccine can cause some unwanted symptoms.

"You can feel a mild a flu from that, but it covers a variety of strains," Simonds explained.

Simonds says it's a better option for children that don't want to be pricked and for healthier adults. As the sneezing and coughing pick up at school and home, Simonds hopes more people will realize the flu vaccine isn't something you can skip.

"When you get the immunization it takes two weeks for it to take effect, so the sooner you get it the better," Simonds said.

You can get the vaccine at the Columbia County Health Department on William Few Parkway or the Richmond County Health Department on Laney Walker.

Expect to pay around $25 for the shot version and $35 for the mist version. You'll want to avoid the mist if you are a diabetic or have asthma. The mist is recommended for most people ages 2 to 49.

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