DETROIT (WWJ) Did you get your flu shot yet? More Americans than ever are rolling up their sleeves for their annual flu shots, but federal health officials say the rates could be better.

Vanderbilt Preventive Medicine Doctor William Schaffner says kids, seniors, and pregnant women are at particular risk from complications of the flu.

“Pregnant women, if they get the flu, have complication rates that are akin to seniors,” Schaffner said. “So we need to vaccinate them, it’s safe in pregnancy and actually, they get a bonus, they will pass some of their protection on to their newborn baby.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, As many as 200,000 Americans get sick enough from the flu to be hospitalized each year.

Schaffner says because it can take a while to for the vaccine’s full protection to kick in after you get the shot, the time to get one is before the virus becomes widespread.

“It takes 10 days to two weeks for your immunity to maximize, so the time to get vaccinated is right now,” Schaffner said. “If we put it off, we put it off, and we won’t get vaccinated.”

Federal health officials say all Americans six months and older should get the vaccine.


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