BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - With flu season just around the corner, you may already be thinking about getting a flu shot. It may be more important this year than last year to get the vaccine.
The Food and Drug Administration recently approved this year's flu vaccine. Its intended to protect us from the flu viruses we're most likely to encounter.
Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein explained, "There are three strains in the flu vaccine, and two of them this year are new. And that's really based on data that's been collected around the world, looking at the predominant flu virus strains out there."
Last year's vaccine was unchanged from the year before, and that may have led some people to skip their annual vaccination, believing they were already protected. Luckily, last year we had a mild season. Don't skip this year. Dr. Burstein says even healthy adults should be immunized.
"It's a strategy for adults to get immunized against the flu to protect the people around them they might come in contact with, so that's why the CDC recommends that everybody six months and up get the flu vaccine every year," she explained.
Some people don't believe vaccines work, and they're prominent on the internet, with frightening stories of failures and danger.
One of them, Dr. Russel Blaylock, a former neurosurgeon, tries to sell newsletters with absurd and unsubstantiated reports. He even claims that flu shots promote Alzheimer's Disease. That kind of irresponsible fear-mongering is outrageous, and, in fact, there's no real evidence for any of his claims.
Dr. Burstein said, "We have really strong data out there - good, solid, randomized control trials that show the vaccines are safe and they're effective."
And when's the best time to get a flu shot?
"There is no time like the present," she said. "If you have access to the flu vaccine, you should just get it. There's no reason to wait."
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