Getting a second flu shot - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Getting a second flu shot

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

At least 157 Iowans have died from flu-related problems since Oct. 1, and it's the worst flu season on record since the swine flu outbreak in 2009.

While some medical experts are recommending a second flu shot, others say it's unnecessary.

Many people are edge this flu season, and they're discussing what they need to do to stay healthy.

However, the second flu shot isn't for everyone.

"People pretty much missed out on getting their flu vaccinations early like we recommend, and I think people forgot the flu was so bad, and unfortunately we're paying for that a little bit," UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine Physician, Dr. Timothy Horrigan said.

Dr. Horrigan said he's never prescribed a patient a second flu shot, and he believes only a few people would benefit from a booster.

"There's a few people who probably need a booster, if they were getting chemo therapy at the time, or they were undergoing some sort of immune-suppression therapy. Of course kids, always need the second dose," Dr. Horrigan said.

Even though the flu season spiked at the beginning of February, doctors still recommend getting a flu shot this season if you haven't already to avoid those costly Urgent Care or Emergency Room visits.

"Oh absolutely! The whole idea of the vaccine is to keep you from dying, and keep you from getting a very severe illness. It might not prevent you from getting the whole syndrome, but you won't be as ill. Also, the people who really need it like children, pregnant women, people who are elderly or have lung disease, we're trying to protect them,"  Dr. Horrigan said.

Dr. Horrigan said, if someone came in and asked for a second flu shot, he'd review their case and likely suggest something like Tamiflu, unless they absolutely needed the second vaccine.

Dr. Horrigan said if you got the flu shot last fall, you shouldn't need another one now.

If you'd like to review the latest flu-related numbers for Iowa, you can click here.

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