Here’s how to get the flu vaccination in Hampshire this winter

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"Everyone eligible here will be able to get it by the end of November, well in advance of the traditional flu season".

The flu is primarily spread person-to-person, mainly by droplets when the infected person coughs, sneezes or even talks.

According to Australia's Department of Health, flu activity - measured by the proportion of patients admitted directly to hospital intensive care units and deaths attributed to influenza - has been low to moderate.

The elderly, young children and people with chronic illness are at greater risk of more severe complications. What is influenza? According to the CDC, influenza is a "contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs". He said he hopes this year's flu season isn't as bad as last year's, when vaccinations didn't match up with the strain that sickened some.

An estimated 80,000 adults nationwide died from the flu previous year and 80 percent of pediatric deaths were in children who were not vaccinated against the flu.

Keep in mind, however, that some people might still get a low-grade fever (below 100) and feel slightly exhausted or achey even after the shot, says Urrutia, and that's normal.

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The flu vaccine past year was estimated to be 30-60 percent effective - and this is a significant public health benefit - nothing to sneeze at! If you do not have a medical provider or insurance, we encourage you to be vaccinated through our Family Health Clinic in Santa Ana. "After receiving the shot, it takes your body about two weeks to build up antibodies to fight the flu, so if you come in contact with the virus during that time, you may still get sick, which is why you should get your flu shot as early as possible".

A 20 percent efficacy means that among those who've been vaccinated, 20 percent fewer will get the flu compared to those who are unvaccinated.

However, since strains of the flu may vary from year to year, the vaccine must be received annually. Hospitals that make vaccines more accessible to their employees by setting up on-site stations for free vaccinations during every shift have high participation rates. "Your body is creating an immune response to the vaccine", she says. Students as part of the "Flu Crew" also produced a creative and entertaining music video touting the imporance of getting a shot to fend off the flu.

Other unpublished data suggest that flu viruses, in the presence of mucus, can persist on some surfaces for up to 16 hours with very little loss in infectivity.

Fact: The flu virus changes each year, so flu vaccines change to keep pace.

Area residents planning to get vaccinated against the flu can take advantage of other options in spite of the suspension of plans for community clinics by the Thunder Bay District Health Unit. He added that frequently washing your hands is crucial as well.

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