Time to get a vaccination as flu season nears - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Time to get a vaccination as flu season nears

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Cooler temperatures mean flu season is just around the corner, and doctors have important information for you and your family to stay healthy.

So far, only one person has been hospitalized in Middle Tennessee for influenza this year, but Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, says to expect that number to rise.

"That's a signal that influenza is on its way. It will come mild or more severe, you never know," he said.

Schaffner says this is the time to get you and your child vaccinated.

"If you have a youngster who's younger than 9 years, you need two doses separated by a month. So, mom, if you haven't started yet, let's get with the program," he said.

Schaffner said children receiving first time vaccines won't be protected from the flu until their second shot.

And if you're one who avoids needles, know that Schaffner and doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contend the vaccine is still the best way to avoid getting sick.

"It will prevent many infections and will also make the flu milder so that you won't get pneumonia, you won't be hospitalized and you won't die," Schaffner said.

For more information on the flu, visit: http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/main.html.

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