CDC reminds everyone who can, to get a flu shot this year

It’s September and the kids are back to school. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about the flu and how to prevent getting the bug from taking over your family.

It may seem early, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already issued its vaccination guidelines when it comes to influenza this year.

Normally the flu will start creeping in during the late fall through early spring, but the CDC is reminding people now to get the flu shot before the end of October. Anyone over the age of 6 months who does not have a medical reason not to do so, should get the shots.

Children from 6 months to 8 years old may need two doses, spaced four weeks apart, meaning the first dose should be administered as soon as it is available with the second coming before the end of October.

In addition to children, people over the age of 50, and anyone with chronic pulmonary or cardiovascular, renal, blood, and metabolic disorders, should be sure to get the flu shot each year, according to the CDC. Anyone in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, as well as anyone who is immunocompromised, should also get the vaccine.

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The same can be said for caregivers, either for children or those who are elderly or sick.

For a complete list of who is at high risk of getting the flu, and should be vaccinated, click here.

The CDC says it takes about two weeks after getting the shot for the body to make enough antibodies to protect against the flu.

Other than flu shot, how can you keep you and your family healthy this flu season?

The CDC suggests:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • When you're sick, limit other people's exposure.
  • Stay at home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone, unless you have to get medical care or other necessities.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub when soap and water are not available.
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect services that could be contaminated.

If you get the flu shot, you may feel soreness, redness or even some swelling at the injection site, a low grade fever and aches. But remember the flu shot is a dead virus, and you cannot get the flu from the shot, the CDC said.

The nasal spray version of the vaccine is a weakened form of the virus. Children may have a runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches or fever as a side effect. Adults, may have a runny nose, headache, sore throat and cough if they use the nasal spray version, according to the CDC.

To find a store where you can get a flu shot, click here and enter your zip code.

Credit: Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley/Shutterstock

Credit: Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley/Shutterstock

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