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Posted on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 11:30 a.m.

Flu season is around the corner; do you plan to get vaccinated?

By Juliana Keeping

School is back in session and flu season is just around the corner.

Health officials are urging residents to vaccinate against influenza in advance of flu season, which typically begins in October in Michigan.

The vaccine takes about two weeks to take effect, said Russ Olmsted, an epidemiologist and the director of infection prevention and control for Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. It’s available via a shot or nasal spray.

As in 2010, the swine flu is covered in this year’s regular flu vaccine. In 2009, the H1N1 — dubbed the swine flu — was behind the first global flu pandemic in 40 years.

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Flu season typically begins in October, and the H1N1 (Swine flu) is covered in the 2011-2012 vaccine. Will you get the flu jab?

The flu shot covers three types of influenza predicted by the World Health Organization as most at risk of showing up in the flu season mix.

The mix for 2011-2012 is almost identical to last year’s Olmsted said.

That doesn’t mean those who were vaccinated against the flu last season are off the hook; immunology fades within a year of getting the vaccine, he said.

Olmsted said the flu typically starts circulating in schools. Then, kids bring it home and the virus picks up steam.

New since 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health agencies recommend the vaccine for everyone six months and older.

For more information:

Do you plan to vaccinate against the flu this season? Will you vaccinate your children? Why or why not? Take our poll and leave a comment below.

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter



Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 6:21 p.m.

If you are one of the lucky few who has never been incapacitated by this horrible virus, then I can see you might think getting vaccinated is not necessary. But, after experiencing it once 7 years ago and wishing I were dead, I will NEVER go another year without getting the best protection I can. Good luck to those who decide to play Russian Roulette.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

Absolutely, always. Every year. Without fail. I have been rewarded with healthy flu seasons for 30+ years.

Smart Logic

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

No shots here. Both times I tried the flu vaccine I caught it regardless. Shots do make sense for people that might have a worse time with the flu such as the elderly, but I'll just stay the course and wash my hands.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

I have never got a flu shot and frankly don't see the point of getting one. I rarely (almost never) get the flu and am not around the sick, elderly, or children. Even if I do get the flu, so what? I'll feel awful for a few days and then be back to normal. Doesn't justify getting vaccinated.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 6:31 p.m.

Goober, you are misinformed. According to the CDC vaccine recommendations (you did access the link provided at the end of the report, didn't you?). "Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged ?6 months [unless allergic to eggs or past vaccine]."


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

To kmgeb2000 Silly thinking and logic. Not everyone catches the flu, many are not affected when exposed and a vaccination is still only recommended for the young, aged or those in poor health.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

Can you say 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic. By the way, its not just for you and the few day you feel bad; its for when you infect others who either don't just get sick for a few day or the others who then pass it on to those you mentioned. It seems unlikely that you'll have no exposure to another human being when &quot;sick&quot;, because you can be contagious before you &quot;feel&quot; and after you &quot;feel&quot; better. As such, during those times you are likely to expose others. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

No shots for me. If God had meant for man or woman to get shots, he would have put a port in our arm.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

Along the same line of &quot;thinking&quot;, God also created the 1918 spanish flu pandemic that killed an estimated 50 to 100 MILLION people. About 3% of the world population at the time. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

Oh? I am older than dirt and have not had a shot in more than 20 years. The last shot I did have was for dental work.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

Foolish uninformed decision.