Fending off the flu

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To help prevent any illness, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, exercise regularly and wash your hands often. A flu (influenza)
shot is recommended for anyone who wants to reduce the risk of flu, but especially for the high-risk groups below.


• Who needs a flu shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu shots for the groups below.

  1. People at high risk of complications from the flu, including:
    • Children age 6 months until their 5th birthday
    • Children 5 years of age or older and adults with a chronic
    condition (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease)
    • Pregnant women
    • Adults age 50 and older
    • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care
    facilities
  2. People who live with or care for those at high risk of complications from the flu, including:
    • Caregivers and household contacts of anyone at high risk
    • Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children
    under 6 months old (these children are too young to get
    the flu shot)
    • Health care workers

• Who should avoid flu shots?
Flu shots are safe for almost everyone. However, if you’ve had a serious reaction to a dose of flu vaccine, or are allergic to eggs, or have history of Guillain-Barré syndrome, ask your doctor for advice.
• What’s the best time for a flu shot?
Flu shots need updating every year because the virus strains
change frequently. It’s best to get your flu shot in October or November for protection in the peak of the flu season (December through March).
• What are the side effects?
Some people may have a minor reaction, such as soreness
at the injection site, mild muscle aches or a slight fever for a couple of days afterward.

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