Doctors urge people to get flu shots - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Doctors urge people to get flu shots

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WSIL -- With flu season around the corner, doctors urge people to get their flu shots.

Dr. Jeffery Ripperda, with Shawnee Health Care-Murphysboro, believes most Americans don't appreciate the dangers the flu can bring. 

"Influenza can kill as many as 25,000 people in the United States in a given year," said Ripperda. "That's a whole lot of people to die from a disease that can be prevented by vaccine."

He recommends getting the flu vaccination in October or November, in order to make sure it remains effective through April. 

He says people should also allow a couple of weeks for the vaccine to become effective.

"It doesn't work immediately. Your body has to have a response to the flu shot and that response takes a couple weeks to kick in," he said.

The flu vaccine's effectiveness depends on the type of strain strain scientists think will turn up the most. 

"Generally they're very good at guessing which strains are going to cause it and those are the strains they put into the flu shot," said Ripperda.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says getting a flu shots reduces the chance of catching the flu by 50 to 60 percent.

While it's no guarantee, Ripperda says it's the best chance people have got.

"So by in large if you really want to avoid the flu, the shot is still your best bet," he said.

Doctors recommend everyone six months and older to get vaccinated for the flu.

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