No better time than now to stick it to the flu

You have a better chance of beating the flu by getting vaccinated now, if you haven’t already. The numbers of people who get sick from seasonal influenza usually peak in February, and new infections continue into spring.

That’s the word from the Seattle-King County Public Health Department. The agency reported well into December that cases of the “bug” were at very low levels locally – and can stay under control with some preventive medicine.

“Flu vaccine protects against a highly contagious illness by minimizing the chances you will get ill or limiting how severe the illness becomes,” said Dr. David Fleming, the Health Department’s director. “Vaccine supply is widely available in King County, and the time is right to protect your health.”

Flu shots are available at doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, Public Health centers and other providers. Some healthcare providers and pharmacies may also have FluMist, the live attenuated vaccine. Instead of getting an injection, a small amount of vaccine is sprayed into each nostril. FluMist is licensed for healthy people 2 through 49 years old. Locationsof of flu shot clinics are at

Getting vaccinated now offers the most protection from the flu, which is much more severe than a bad cold, Fleming said. The flu can cause significant lost time from work and school, the time and expense of visits to healthcare providers, and possible hospitalization and even death. The flu vaccine helps protect those at risk and their families from complications.