Getting the Upper Hand: Get Your Flu Shot, Already!

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DALLAS--You know it's September, 'cause kids are in school, Christmas decorations are popping up, and we're hearing about flu shots.

We see this headline every year: "CDC urges Americans to get flu vaccine."

Then every year, people put off getting their shots. Lots of people get sick. Some die. Then everybody wants their flu shots, and there's a shortage.

But here's the secret, straight from Dallas County Health Director Zachary Thompson: "If you get your flu shot now, you don't have to worry about a shortage."

He says there are actually three things you can do to avoid getting the flu.

  • Get the Flu Vaccine
  • Wash Your Hands
  • Practicing Cough Etiquette

This year's flu shot will--WAIT! COUGH ETIQUETTE? What the heck is THAT?

"That means coughing into your coat sleeve not coughing or sneezing out in public," Thompson said.

Thanks for spelling that out for us, Zach. The dry cleaner will thank you, too.

This year's flu shot will protect you against three strains of flu, including swine flu.

And here's something else to remember:

"We're not saying the flu vaccine will prevent you from getting the flu," Thompson said. "It helps reduce the risk of getting the flu as well as the amount of time that you will be sick with the flu."

So don't go around saying the shot gave you the flu. It didn't. They don't use live virus anymore, so it can't.

One thing you need to know if you have kids: some of them need *two* shots. Talk to your doctor about that. And figure out how you're gonna explain *two* shots to your kids.