Health unit, doctors, pharmacies offer free vaccine

Flu season is coming-that time of year when if you get sick, at best, you have aches, pains, and a few days of misery.

A vaccine combining centralized ancestral genes from four major influenza strains appears to provide broad protection against the unsafe ailment, according to new research by a team from the Nebraska Center for Virology.

Although the flu vaccine is not flawless and some people who get vaccinated may still get the flu, it's possible that the vaccination may make symptoms milder.

"We are just at the start of the flu season, so it's hard to tell what it is going to be like", Taus said, pointing out that so far this year, six cases have already been confirmed in the city.

"The 2017 vaccine that people are getting now has the same H3N2 strain as the 2016 vaccine, so this could be another hard year if this season is dominated by H3N2 viruses again".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that past year influenza vaccination prevented approximately 5.1 million influenza illnesses, 2.5 million influenza-associated medical visits and 71,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations. Remember that it takes two weeks after vaccination for the immune system to become protected, so get your flu vaccine now before you head home for the holidays.

The more people that are immunized, the harder it is for flu to circulate in the community, the department stated in its release.

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How effective is the vaccine at preventing the flu?

You can check how active the flu is in your area with this map. You can't get the flu from the shot because the vaccine contains viruses that are inactivated or severely weakened.

Fact: The flu is caused by a live virus.

Local pharmacies also provide the flu shot free of charge.

Flu can be a serious illness, particularly for young children, older adults, and people with certain long-term health conditions like asthma, heart disease, or diabetes. If caught early, an antiviral medication may reduce the severity of infection with influenza; see you primary care physician for details.

A 65-year-old in Southeast Nebraska is reportedly the first flu-related death in the state this season, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Excuse #6: I got the flu shot a year ago, and I still got the flu.

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