Mayo Clinic Minute: Why you need your flu shot now

Vivien Williams: Seasonal flu is a virus that attacks your respiratory system. Most people get better on their own, but, for some, the flu can be serious.

Tina Ardon, M.D.: Our babies, our younger children and our older adults definitely can get more sick from the flu. Patients who are already sick with other chronic conditions, are undergoing chemotherapy are more likely to have complications from the flu as well.

Vivien Williams: Complications include bronchitis, pneumonia and even heart problems.

Dr. Ardon: The vaccine for influenza is one our best defenses we have.

Vivien Williams: Dr. Tina Ardon says some people don't get the flu vaccine because they think it could cause the flu.

Dr. Ardon: The flu vaccine is what we call a dead vaccine. So you cannot get the actual flu from the flu vaccine.

Vivien Williams: You can't get the flu from a flu shot. FluMist, while safe for most people, contains a weakened form of the virus, so people with certain conditions should get a shot instead.

Dr. Ardon: Everyone who can get it should get it.

Vivien Williams: It takes two weeks for the vaccine to work, so get your flu shot now. For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Vivien Williams.


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