Seasonal flu shots now available


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utahns can take the first step Wednesday in battling the seasonal flu bug by getting a flu shot. Seasonal flu shots are now available at local health departments, doctors' offices, and other places such as pharmacies.

Health officials have made large quantities of the vaccine available earlier this year and are encouraging residents to take advantage of the early availability. They anticipate once the H1N1 vaccine becomes available in mid-October, there may be a big push for that vaccine, which doesn't protect against the seasonal flu.

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Audrey Stevenson, division director for family health services at the Salt Lake Valley Health Department, said, "We would love to see everyone get a flu shot this season. In the past that hasn't been our experience. There have been individuals that feel they are not at risk or choose not to be vaccinated. So, we are highly encouraging that everyone this year gets a shot and as soon as they possibly can."

State health officials say getting the vaccine early will not diminish its effectiveness over the entire flu season.

"The information that we're receiving from the CDC is that one flu vaccine is going to protect you throughout the flu season or up to eight months," Stevenson said.

To find a place to get a flu shot, check the flu locator link on this page.

A reminder: This seasonal flu vaccine is not for the swine flu, or H1N1 virus. That vaccine will be available later in the fall.

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