Doctors: Don’t wait to vaccinate against flu

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – As the weather continues to get colder, we’ll get deeper into flu season. Soon, it will be in full swing.

Each year, 30,000 to 40,000 people die from the flu or flu complications. For patients six months and up, Dr. Mark Goedecker with Thomas Hart Family Practice says a flu shot is your best prevention.

“The key with giving the shot is the earlier you can get it, the better,” Goedecker said.

This year, the flu mist is out following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The only choice this year is a shot of an inactivated flu vaccine that covers four strains.

Flu season peaks in January and February, but cases pop up now through May. It takes four weeks to reach full effectiveness in your body. Goedecker says all employees at Wellspan get the shot.

“More importantly, I give it to both my kids,” he said. “I think that, as a doctor, when I tell a patient that I’m giving it to my kids, I think it’s that important I get it every year. That’s the biggest thing I can say. You should get the flu shot.

The CDC says children six months through eight years need to get two shots of the vaccine: the original and then a follow-up booster, if they are getting vaccinated for the first time.

A child who has previously been vaccinated, only needs one shot.

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