State health officials urge Montanans to get flu vaccine

Some people with very severe egg allergies may need to avoid it, as do people who have had an allergic reaction to it in the past, but those people are few and far between.

The board suggests delayed vaccinations may give people greater immunity to the virus later in the flu season. It's not possible. The virus is killed.

Children under five can not get the vaccine from a pharmacy, so parents with young kids may still want to go to a public health clinic, said Sethi. Sometimes it's just not convenient or maybe you got one previous year and you think you're still covered. This year, many insurers are not covering the nasal vaccine as it has been deemed ineffective by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, also known as ACIP.

In preparation for the flu season that's right around the corner, find a convenient spot for you and your loved ones to check this annual vaccination off your autumn to-do list.

Each year, more than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized for respiratory and heart problems associated with seasonal flu. However, that protective effect may wear off faster in older people.

-Every time you shake someone's hand, wash yours.

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The leaves are changing, and the air is getting cooler-that must mean flu season will be here soon!

Also, family members and caregivers of those in the vulnerable categories should be immunized so they don't expose someone at high risk for complications to the disease. "Being up-to-date protects you and your loved ones from illness", shares Dr. Patel, a board-certified physician with Portage Medical Group.

Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to prevent the flu, which often causes fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches.

During the 2012/2013 flu season, 131 parents were questioned about their children over the age of nine months to 18 years of age.

If you decide you don't want to get a senior-specific flu shot, there are other options available to people 65 years and older including the standard (trivalent) flu shot, the quadrivalent flu shot, which protects against four different flu viruses, and the FluBlok vaccine for those who have egg allergies.

For those who choose to skip the shot, a pack of over the counter flu symptom relief runs about $24. Please bring all your insurance cards with you. And talk to your doctor if you have any particular concerns about your child or your situation.

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