Influenza Vaccination Week starts on December 3

Dog Racings Decline Greyhounds race at the Flagler Dog Track in Miami in 2014. One type of canine influenza was first identified in greyhounds 13 years ago

First flu-related death of the season hits Edmonton

"There's very little downside to getting vaccinated and if anything that's going to be your only way to really protect yourself especially because with the holidays, the congregation of people and family getting together and things like that", said Dr. Shivani Reddy of Kaiser Permanente. The virus has already killed five people in the Calgary area.

You can't get influenza from flu shots, specialists stress.

Of the 3,000 vaccines Public Health bought this year, 334 are still available.

The CDC is reporting hundreds of new flu cases every week.

Last year, only about 47 per cent of the population was vaccinated in the US. Second, the recommendation to NOT use the nasal spray vaccine has been renewed this year - only injectable flu shots should be used for all populations.

So far this season, weekly flu tracking data from the Wyoming Department of Health indicates that most cases are in Uinta and Sweetwater counties. Those at risk for the flu include elders older than 65 and children younger than 5.

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AHS's statistics also indicate influenza has been somewhat more active earlier in the season than a year ago.

December is when the flu typically comes out in full force, keeping people home from work or school.

The costs of flu vaccines vary on insurance plans, but many planes cover the vaccines at no cost, according to Crow. However, while vaccinated people can still get sick, generally they get a milder and less unsafe form of the illness.

One high-dose version contains four times the usual anti-flu ingredient, while a competitor contains an extra immune-boosting compound. But previous year, a baffled CDC said it was no longer protecting against certain influenza strains as well as regular flu shots - and told doctors not to use it.

And for kids between the ages of 6 months and 8 years who are getting a first-ever flu vaccination, they'll need two doses a month apart.

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