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Perfect Time for Flu Shots


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You're probably thinking, "It's only the beginning of November. Why do I need to think about a flu shot now?"

Well this is the perfect time to get one. And if you have never had one before, this might be the year to start.

Norma Soforenko, 75, is taking part in what has become a yearly ritual for her. She's getting a flu shot.

Norma Soforenko/ Getting Flu Shot: "I STARTED GETTING THE FLU SHOT WHEN I WAS 65 AND I HAVE NEVER HAD THE FLU."

Last year nearly 36,000 people died from flu related illnesses, and that's considered a mild year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says because it's rare to have three mild years in a row, this year's numbers could be even higher. That's why they are recommending anyone over 50 and those with chronic conditions all get a flu shot.

Right now one third of people over age 65 don't bother to get the shot.

Dr. Michael Rothberg/ Family Physician: "FLU KILLS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE EVERY YEAR AND IT'S MOSTLY PREVENTABLE. THAT'S WHY IT'S INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE OVER THE AGE OF 50, AND ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH HEART OR LUNG DISEASE, GET A FLU VACCINATION EVERY YEAR."

Fall is the best time to get your shot. That gives your immune system time to develop protective antibodies to the virus before the flu season starts.

The good news this year is that unlike previous years, there's plenty of the flu vaccine to go around.

Norma Soforenko: "HAVING HAD THE FLU SHOT THESE PAST TEN YEARS AND NEVER HAVING HAD THE FLU, I INTEND TO HAVE THE FLU SHOT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE."

This year there is also an alternative for people who don't like injections. It's called flu mist.

It's a nasal spray, but it's only for those considered low risk. It is not for those age 50 and older.

It's also more expensive and may not be covered by insurance.

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