Drive-through flu shots Tuesday

Runny noses, coughing and sneezing.... it can all be avoided by getting this year

In this Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 photo, George Eberhardt, 107, of Chester, NJ. is given his annual flu shot by nurse Bettie Donnelly in Mendham, N.J. Babies and toddlers were more likely to get the flu vaccine last year than people over 65. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

You can avoid those achy feelings and flu-symptoms by getting this year's flu vaccine.

The St. Joseph Health Department is offering flu shots Tuesday at the Clay Fire House. The shots are $25, and you won't even have to get out of your car to get the drive-through vaccine.

But if you can't make today's event, flu shots are available at all physician offices, and most local pharmacies. Prices vary.

Dr. Felger, the St. Joseph County Health Officer says the vaccine includes three strains this year. Two of those strains were seen in Asia, and the third is the H1N1 seen in years past.

The flu shot and it's components are determined by scientists who predict what will be likely to spread in our area.

Dr. Felger says the shots are completely safe, so people shouldn't worry about what the vaccine is made of.

"It isn't putting a live virus truly in, it's a form of a virus that the body recognizes and then builds antibodies against. They've been around for 50 years and there is nothing been documented as a problem. Occassionally somebody might have a very mild achy fever, there can be a sore arm just from getting the injection, but they are safe," says Dr. Felger.

He also tries to clear up confusion about the difference between "Swine flu" and the H1N1 virus.

"There is several kinds of H1N1 and they had different genetic makeup to make the virus itself a little bit different. For example, the one that made the news this summer, is typically, truly a swine flu. But for whatever reason it changed a little bit and people were able to get it from a swine which is typically not the case," says Dr. Felger.

Dr. Felger also says, "it's a preventable disease. And if you get the shot you will more than likely not have to deal with being off work and feeling miserable for 3-4 days. It depends on the season. Last year, we were very lucky it was a mild season. For some reason, predictions are, this one will be a bit rougher."

Dr. Felger says symptoms of the flu are about the same every year and include a sudden start to body aches, coughing and a fever. He says to avoid spreading the disease, stay away from family and friends and drink a lot of fluids while staying in bed.

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