Amid the ongoing heated debate over whether or not to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC is again recommending Minnesotans get a flu shot to avoid a "Twin-demic" this winter.

According to the CDC:

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza. Adults as well as children older than six months are advised to get the flu shot by the end of October. The sooner you get the shot, the sooner you're protected from this year's strain of the flu.

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Influenza vaccine effectiveness can vary. The protection provided by a flu vaccine varies from season to season and depends in part on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine and the similarity between the viruses in the vaccine and those in circulation.

During years when the flu vaccine match is good, it is possible to measure substantial benefits from flu vaccination in terms of preventing flu illness and complications. However, the benefits of flu vaccination will still vary, depending on the characteristics of the person being vaccinated (for example, their health and age).

A 2017 study was the first of its kind to show that flu vaccination can significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from flu. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

Before COVID-19 I used to think of getting a vaccination a simply a matter of protecting myself. Now, as we endure the coronavirus pandemic, I understand that there's a 'bigger than me' reason to get a show -- as the protection extends to the greater community.

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