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Doctors expect one flu strain to be severe this year

Have you gotten a flu shot yet? Doctors said now is the perfect time to get one. Flu season starts in October and can last until May.

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 3:52 AM
Updated: Oct 14, 2019 7:35 AM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- It is officially flu season and doctors said one strain of the flu is expected to be especially severe this year. That strain is called the H3N2 strain. This year, flu season is expected to last from October until May. 

Doctors recommend getting the flu shot as early as possible. Anyone who is older than six months old can get a flu shot. It is scientifically proven to help protect you. The vaccine has an inactive virus that helps your body build up immunity to the flu. 

Fatigue, coughing, a runny nose and nausea are signs of the flu. Doctors said the best way to avoid getting sick is to get a flu shot. 

"I would say it's not only protective for yourself, but also protective for other people who might have chronic illnesses who might be at risk to get the flu," said Ben Moss, a physician assistant at Grants Pass Clinic. 

There are a couple of other groups who are also more likely to get the flu. Those people include kids, senior citizens and pregnant women.

One Grants Pass local said that he makes sure to get a flu shot during the fall before it gets cold. 

"Well, I never did get the flu shot," said Thomas Gammel. "But I got a really bad cold one year. I got the flu and decided maybe it's time to start getting that shot as a preventative measure."

Flu shot delays

Hospitals nationwide are waiting on more flu shots to be delivered. Even local offices, such as the Grants Pass Clinic, are waiting for more flu shots. Doctors said there is no reason to worry because hospitals expect more flu shots to be delivered very soon. The Grants Pass Clinic said they will receive more flu shots later this week. 

Each year, researchers predict what strains might make people sick. They recently pinpointed another strain of the flu that's more severe -- the H3N2 strain. Manufacturers are working to update the flu shot. This is what's causing the delay.

Where to get a flu shot

You can get a flu shot at almost every doctor's office or clinic. If you aren't able to head to a doctor's office, there are plenty of other places to get that vaccine. Those places include Walgreens, Walmart, Bi-Mart Pharmacies, CVS and Rite Aid. 

The CDC also has a website that allows you to find the closest place to get a flu shot. Click here to use the Flu Vaccine Finder. 

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