Yes, you do need a flu shot

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By Brandon Hurley

Getting a flu shot often protects you from getting the flu virus.
And while the flu shot doesn’t always provide total protection, it’s still worth getting.
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory infection that is caused by the influenza virus.  According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), an average of 5 to 20 percent of the population in the United States gets the flu.
More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications and about 36,000 people die from flu.  Some people (such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions) are at high risk for serious flu complications.
Fortunately, the flu vaccine offers protection against the flu.
The CDC indicates that the flu shot is between 70 and 90 percent effective in warding off illness, depending on the length and intensity of a given flu season and your overall health.
In some instances, people who get a flu shot may still get the flu, but in this case the illness will be less severe and there is a decreased risk of complications.  
So, do you really need to get a flu shot? Yes. In order to obtain the best protection from getting the flu, you should get a flu shot.
Each year the vaccine changes, so even if you got the flu shot last year, you will need to get another one.  
Anderson County Health Department is currently offering flu shots for $25 or free with Medicaid, Medicare Part B or Humana Commonwealth.
No appointment is necessary.
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Brandon Hurley is public health director at the Anderson County Health Department.