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No Flu Shot? CDC Says It's Not Too Late to Get Vaccinated

Immunization will reduce the chance you'll get the seasonal illness and spread it to others.

Influenza virus particles—or "virons"—seen through a transmission electron micrograph (TEM). Photo Credit: Centers for Disease Control.
Influenza virus particles—or "virons"—seen through a transmission electron micrograph (TEM). Photo Credit: Centers for Disease Control.
As part of the push for National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 8-14), health officials are encouraging those who have not yet been vaccinated against the flu this year to get immunized. The message from the Centers for Disease Control is that it's not too late to reduce the chance you'll get the seasonal illness and spread it to others.

A record number of San Diegans died during the 2012-2012 flu season. The county Health and Human Services Agency reported 65 victims between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013. 

And while most of the deaths involved elderly victims, the agency blamed a severe strain of the illness — H3N2 — which was even difficult for healthy people to shake.

Since every flu season is different, health officials say it's important to get the flu vaccine each year. The vaccine formula is based on research that indicates which influenza viruses will be most common in the new flu season. The flu shot you got last year will not protect you from this year's strain of flu.

The vaccine is available as a shot or nasal-spray. Enter your ZIP Code in the Flu Vaccine Finder to find the vaccination locations nearest you.

Nationwide, anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent of the population on average gets the flu each year. More than 200,000 are hospitalized with complications from contracting the flu, and about 36,000 die. Older people, young children, and
people with certain health conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications.

According to the CDC, flu activity most commonly peaks in the US in January or February.

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