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It's Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot

Dr. Jennifer Ashton's tips to protect yourself as the flu season heats up.
2:19 | 12/28/12

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Transcript for It's Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot
Flu season is heating up right now several deaths reported in Minnesota and Washington State. The big question a lot of people are asking is it too late to get your flu shot and how effective is the one you already have. ABC news senior medical contributor doctor Jennifer passion is with us now. And doctor -- let's just talk about how widespread the flu is at this point well it's widespread and we have to remember this is. Not just a bad cold here this is truly a matter of life and -- if you look at the CDC weekly report they are reporting widespread activity in about 29 states. Other states are seeing cases is increasing the relatively compared to the week before we're just where we would expect to be at this point in the year and -- as you mentioned you have the flu I had about twelve years ago and once it hits you you know this is like nothing else. And for twelve years I've gotten the flu shot except -- this year because I hadn't heard anything. About it the way I have in years past is the flu shot so affected now and is it just now starting to develop well don't be lulled into a false sense of security the flu kills and causes major illness every single year we knew that for a fact. Is it too late absolutely not what right now we know that the peak season is typically January February last year we didn't see peak flu activity actually until March who is actually not too late he should remember -- -- -- takes about two weeks to get the full immune protection. So go and get it now absolutely and -- a lot of people think out of vaccination doesn't really work how effective is it this year no vaccine is perfectly after remember that but the idea is about sixty to 85% of efficacy for the flu vaccine it is important to remember also that if you get the flu vaccine and -- in the failure rate which I was after having been vaccinated actually got the flu. You will have a shorter course and less severe symptoms. And what most importantly be less likely to pass it to someone else we have to remember hearing me this is not just an -- we have a picture of me with the flu but I was. I was almost hospitalized I had never been sick or my entire life -- picture dehydration I was in bed for a week I was three weeks -- -- I was back to normal and I'm healthy person and you're not -- if -- if -- you know if your immune system's compromised if -- older daughter and then you have to get that we have to remember the people at risk we hear it all the time and it bears -- children pregnant women elderly people people with compromised immune system it's not for yourself. Get that vaccine to -- to your New Year's resolution doctor Jennifer -- thanks so much we appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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