Flu season upon us - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flu season upon us

WATERLOO (KWWL)-- The beginning of fall means the beginning of flu season, but how important is it to get a flu shot this year?

According to www.flu.gov the peak of flu season happens anywhere from November to March and with the H1N1 scare from last year, doctors suggest its even more important to get a vaccination.

Elaine Slade has been with the Visiting Nursing Association for 19 years.

So when asked how many flu shots she has given she says. 

"Oh a lot."

And that number seems to keep growing year after year.

According to www.flu.gov on average each year five to 20 percent of people in the U.S. get the flu and more than 200,000 people were hospitalized from flu-like complications.

"The more people who are vaccinated against it the better off that we protect everybody in the community. It's really important especially if you have a young infant that the mom and dad get vaccinated and the grandma and grandpa and everybody who is around that infant," said Slade.

Now, doctors suggest everyone over the age of six months old should get the influenza vaccine.

This year's flu shot not only will protect you from the upper respiratory flu, but it also has the H1N1 component in it.

"We do know the virus is still around and so because of that its really important that everyone does get vaccinated against the influenza bug."

For the people who do not like the shots, you can get a flu mist.

Slade says this year she does not think there will be a shortage in the flu vaccine.

Nurses at the Visiting Nursing Association give out flu shots between the hours of 10 AM to noon and 2 PM to 4 PM at the offices on University Avenue in Waterloo.

The shots are free for those who have Medicare Part B otherwise the cost is about 27 dollars.

Online Reporter: Nikki Newbrough

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