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As Flu Season Nears, Health Officials Urge People To Get Their Shots Now

Indiana Public Media

Flu shots are now available at many clinics, drugstores, and supermarkets.  And Lane County officials are urging people to get their shots sooner than later.  KLCC’s Brian Bull explains.   

The flu is a reliable epidemic, usually hitting in late October or November every year.  Medical practitioners say since it takes two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop, getting a flu shot earlier provides immunity once the season is underway.

Patrick Luedtke is Senior Public Health Officer for Lane County.  He says getting shots can not only protect your co-workers, classmates, and neighbors, but also your longevity. 

Credit Lane County Dept of Health and Human Services
Patrick Luedtke, Senior Public Health Officer, Dept. of Health and Human Services for Lane County.

“If you’re not getting vaccinated, you are certainly open to getting influenza," Luedtke tells KLCC. 

"But once you get the viral influenza infection, your resistance is let down and you can also get other bacterial conditions. 

"And actually, the number one way that people die when they get the flu, is a secondary bacterial infection in their lungs, they get a bad bacterial pneumonia.” 

Luedtke says this season, health officials are again recommending injectable flu shots over nasal sprays.  That’s because data for the U.S. shows sprays aren’t as reliable as vaccines administered with needles (sorry, kids).

Copyright 2017, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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