3 things to know about the flu shot

This year's vaccine protects against four strains of flu

This year, the HSE is providing the quadrivalent flu vaccine, which protects people from four strains of the flu, as advised by the World Health Organisation.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention director Nirav Shah says the time has arrived for Mainers to get flu shots.

What takes the longest for a flu shot is filling out the paperwork.

One myth addressed: the flu shot can give you the flu.

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"We want to remind people that before influenza starts to circulate around the USA, now's a good time to get vaccinated and really start thinking about flu and get prepared for the upcoming season", said Epperson, lead author of the flu update published October 11 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

"Sporadic reports this early is unusual", said Dr. Bill Langley from Genesis Hospital. However even though kids may be healthy, "they have much less effective immune system". "One of the benefits of influenza vaccine is that you can help protect people around you - and that's particularly important", Epperson said. "You worry about pneumonia or organ failure because people are doing everything to fight the infection". Individuals 65 years and older qualify for a high-dose flu shot, which costs $53. "They started from the get-go to have very high rates and went all the way through". For the 2018-2019 season, the first hospitalization from the illness was in November.

For a list of pharmacies that provide the free flu shot, check the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan website at http://www.skpharmacists.ca/patients/flu-shotsor ask your local pharmacy if they offer it.

The campaign is part of a renewed push from the agency to ensure all those eligible for immunization get vaccinated.

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