‘Have you gotten a flu shot?’: Expert says flu vaccine protects others, not just you

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Virginia is already experiencing a higher than average amount of flu patients, according to the CDC. 

Last year’s flu season was worse than normal. Right now, Virginia is one of nine states experiencing moderate flu activity. So if you haven’t yet, now is the time to get vaccinated. 

A recent study by the University of Chicago says 40 percent of Americans don’t plan on getting a flu shot this season. Locals who spoke with our sister station WRIC shared different reasons why. 

“I’m scared of needles and I’ve heard that you get sick after it,” one person said.

“I think it kind of depends on the person because sometimes it can go negatively,” said another Chesterfield local. 

WRIC spoke with Jonathan Falk, the Epidemiology Program Manager at the Virginia Department of Health, who couldn’t stress the importance of getting a flu shot enough. 

“You getting a flu vaccine is as much about you protecting yourself as it is about you protecting the people around you,” Falk said.

Doctors say this year’s flu vaccine is more effective than last year’s. 

“Bottom line I think what we want folks to really know about is there’s still time to get the flu vaccine so getting vaccinated is the biggest, number one way we can prevent the spread of flu,” Falk told 8News. 

Prevention is key as the cold weather continues. Make sure to wash your hands, practice good cough etiquette, like using a tissue or your elbow to cover your mouth and to keep your environment clean. 

Flu cases usually peak from now until February. It’s still not too late to get your flu shot as many places are still offering free vaccines. 

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