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Why You Should Still Get the Flu Shot

By Cyndi Lundeberg
By CLundeberg@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - The vast flu epidemic that hit West Tennessee seems to have dwindled in the past few weeks. Since many West Tennesseans already had the virus many believe they don't need to get the flu shot. Health officials say that is just not true.

"The flu season hit us early so we are expecting it to repeat itself," said Dr. Peter Gardner Medical Director at Physicians Quality Care.

Dr. Gardner says there are four different strains of the virus. If you become sick with one, you could become sick with another strain. The flu shot lessens that likelihood..

Despite 47 out of 50 states being in what health experts are calling a "flu epidemic," barely more one third of people have gotten the shot.

"I just haven't taken the time to go get one. I usually don't have a problem with the flu so I don't think I need to get it," said Jackson resident Randy Sparks.

There are many misconceptions about getting vaccinated against the flu one Dr. Gardner says is some people believe it's too late to get the shot.

"We haven't even begun the peak time period for flu season so no it is not too late to get yourself vaccinated," he says.

Dr. Gardner said there are also a lot of rumors that circulate about the shot that should be ignored. "The flu shot will not give you the flu," he said is completely false. "If you become ill after getting the flu shot it's because you had previously been exposed to the virus."

Health experts say every person six months of age or older are urged to get the flu shot. The only people not recommended to get vaccinated are people severely allergic to eggs and people with certain neurological disorders. Dr. Gardner says if you are unsure whether or not to get vaccinated to speak with your doctor.
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