Good News About The Flu: Shots Work

Yes, it's that time of the year again-flu shot season. If you're a healthy adult under age 65, you may decide to skip this annual rite of fall. Even if you do come down with influenza--35 million to 50 million Americans are infected every year--chances are you'll just miss several days of work before recovering. But if you'd rather not contribute to the estimated $4.6 billion spent annually in the U.S. on flu-related medical costs, or take a chance on being one of the 20,000 or so Americans who die of the disease each year, keep this in mind: Flu shots work. Each spring, the Food & Drug Administration decides which viruses the next flu vaccine will target. Last year the agency got it slightly wrong, missing a newly discovered strain. Even so, the vaccine was over 80% effective against the untargeted virus.

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