Changes coming to flu shots

Flu season is upon us, and that means it is time to get a shot to prevent it.

It's recommended that every person 6 months or older get the flu shot, which is specially formulated each year to combat the ever changing types of flu viruses out there. Adults over the age of 65, young children and pregnant women are especially susceptible to the flu. Berrien County Health officials say it's nothing to take lightly. Tens of thousands of people die every year from it.

"You may not think it's a serious disease," said Gillian Conrad of the Berrien County Health Department. "It can get worse very quickly. Don't take the chance. Vaccinate yourself and vaccinate the rest of your family."

But there are some changes this year you need to be aware of.

Last year, if you had a fear of needles there was an alternative called the "flu mist," a nasal form of the vaccine.

But it turns out that is no longer available.
It isn't recommended by doctors this year due to concerns about how well it worked last flu season. Instead, the standard shot will be available.

Kids especially loved the mist because there was no pain involved.

"Parents may be a little disappointed this year," said Conrad. "Kids favored the flu mist because it doesn't hurt as much. But we are still urging parents to make sure heir kids are getting vaccinated."

It takes a few weeks for the vaccine to fully kick in, so that's why health experts are urging everyone to get their flu shot as early as possible. Today, if you can.

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