Flu Vaccine More Than Worth It - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Flu Vaccine More Than Worth It

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Flu season is sweeping across the commonwealth.

Virginia is one of 29 states the Centers for Disease Control reports seeing high numbers people with flu symptoms. Even if you've had the vaccine, you're not out of the woods yet.

"We're just seeing so much of it, today we probably saw 15 people that had flu or flu-like symptoms," said William Talbott of First Med Physician. "We tested 46 people last month and 15 were positive, this month we've tested nine people and five were positive."

Several were patients who've gotten the vaccine.

"You can still unfortunately get the flu because there are so many strains that are infecting humans this flu season," said Samantha Chetosky Say, a pharmacist.

The current flu shot protects against two strands of type A and one strand of type B flu, but there are millions of strands that can make us sick.

"It's very likely that we are seeing a strain that is not protected by the flu vaccine causing a lot of the flu cases," Say said.

Still, doctors say the vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu.

"If they have had the vaccine and they have the flu it could've been worse if they hadn't had the vaccine, I think it's protective, to the extent that it may not eradicate it or totally prevent it, it may make it less severe." Talbott said.

And doctors want patients to know it can still be effective this late in the season.

"It's never too late to get the flu shot," Say said.

If you start to have flu-like symptoms, doctors encourage you to wear a mask and wash your hands frequently to protect yourself and the people you come in contact with.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new vaccine to protect against four strains of flu, however it won't be available until next flu season. The CDC is set to release a report in February about how effective the vaccine has been this year, and what that means for next year's vaccine.

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