It’s that time of year again when we enjoy a nice warm bowl of chili, a warm hoody, and a game of football. All these things are enjoyable for many. However, it’s also flu season—and having the flu is something that no one enjoys. In fact, the CDC estimates that 9.3 to 49 million Americans have battled flu illness each year since 2010. Have no fear, though! There is a solution—the flu vaccine.

The CDC estimates that getting the flu vaccine reduces one’s risk of catching the flu by 40 to 60%. Furthermore, getting the flu vaccine reduces the severity of illness should one become infected even after vaccination. Additionally, the CDC reports that the flu vaccine can help reduce one’s likelihood of hospitalization—which is another reason to roll up your sleeve and get the vaccine.

Like the COVID-19 vaccine, there is a lot of misinformation about the flu vaccine. One common misconception is that the flu vaccine contains the “live” virus—and that it can cause people to get sick with the flu. This is not true. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine is made with “either an inactivated (killed) virus, or with only a single protein from the flu virus.”

With any vaccine, it’s important that patients consult their medical provider before vaccination. However, most patients who receive the flu vaccine have little to mild discomfort such as a sore arm at the site of injection.

The Grayson County Health Department is having walk-in flu clinics at the following times:

Monday and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

For more information about the flu vaccine, www.cdc.gov/flu.

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