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Vaccine, Hand Washing Can Help Prevent the Flu

US Army Corps of Engineers

Flu season is upon us, and with last year’s season having been particularly harsh, the Center of Disease control has created a more reliable vaccine. That’s according to Kendra Findley, the Administrator of Community Health and Epidemiology for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

“We have gotten a vaccine that will better match, better protect against that very specific flu strain so my estimation is that we should see a milder flu season this year as compared to last year,” Findley said.

Several people who received last year’s flu vaccination still came down with the flu, and Findley worries this will make people wary of receiving a flu shot this season. She says this, along with other misconceptions about the vaccination, deters people from getting the flu shot.

“The myth that you can get influenza from the influenza vaccination has been long standing and it’s a difficult myth to break,” Findley said.

She says the flu vaccination contains an incapacitated virus, meaning that the virus is no longer alive. Normal side effects of the flu shot include soreness at the sight of the vaccination and fatigue and headache for people who have compromised immune systems.

Findley advises caregivers of children and the elderly to get a flu vaccination and do so before the peak of the season strikes.

“It takes your body two full weeks after getting the vaccination before you have built up enough immunity to protect yourself.”

Along with the flu vaccination, Findley says washing your hands, coughing into your elbow and using tissue can help minimize the spread of the virus.