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Avoid the Flu This Year: Get Your Shot Before the End of October

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The best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications is by getting a yearly flu vaccine. Even when a flu vaccination does not prevent illness entirely, it has been shown in studies to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.

The typical flu is active each year from October through April. An estimated 5-20 percent of Americans get the flu each year with symptoms lasting for up to two weeks.

The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to be effective, so it is important to get the vaccine as early as possible. During the two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone get a flu vaccine each year by the end of October.

Both Cigna and Kaiser Permanente have detailed plans for getting this year’s flu shot.

Here are some other resources to show you how to protect yourself from colds and flu: