Charlotte, it's time for your flu shot

Charlotte, it's time for your flu shot


Each October, there’s something far spookier than Halloween for many kids and some adults: flu shots.

But health professionals and public officials say that unless you’re allergic to chicken eggs – a flu vaccine ingredient - now is the time to get one.

How important is it? All employees at the highly rated Carolinas Healthcare System, including CMC hospitals, are required to get the vaccine.

Although flu season starts as early as October in some parts of the country, in North Carolina it begins in November and peaks in January and February. With the flu vaccine taking about two weeks to develop protection against influenza, the time is right to roll up your sleeve.

Children under 2 and adults over 65 are more likely to experience complications from the flu, but everyone can and should take precautions.

At Charlotte’s Elizabeth Lane Elementary, students learned how this week by participating in activities such as Germ-O-Scope, the Science of a Sneeze, Germy Journey and others that explained how germs are spread, how to keep from getting sick and the proper techniques for washing hands.

The event was sponsored by Lysol. Besides washing your hands with soap and water, Mecklenburg County health officials also recommend covering your mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze – and discarding it promptly. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread that way.

The best way to prevent the flu? Get the shot (or, if its available, the flu mist). Shots are available by appointment at the county health department and at Charlotte clinics such as the CVS Minute Clinic and Walgreens and some Wal-Mart and Harris Teeter locations. For more alternatives in the Charlotte area, use the federal government’s flu shot locator.

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