The flu shot: answering your questions - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The flu shot: answering your questions

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SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -

Doctors want you to get your flu shot. The Spokane County Regional Health District says the county saw more than 100 new hospitalizations this past week for the flu. That brings the total for the season close to 300.

So far, seven people have died in Spokane County from the flu. Most were elderly and unvaccinated.

Even so, we've received a lot of questions on Facebook about the flu shot: why don't they work? Can it make me sick? Why should I get one?

Doctor Andrew Dill with the MultiCare Rockwood Airway Heights Clinic says he's seen plenty of people for the flu this season. "The flu window is from October to April," he said.

Dill says it's never too late to get a flu shot. "Anytime is fine. The immunity takes between two and four weeks to fully achieve effect," he said.

Though, why does it seem like the flu shot isn't working this season?  "We've seen two numbers used which is a 10 percent and 32 percent efficacy this year compared to the normal 60 to 70 percent efficacy of the flu vaccination. This is not be to unexpected because normal years they are required to determine what flu strains will be out. This year's flu strains were not the expected strains and that's the reason for the reduction in the efficacy," said Dill.

Dill says it's pretty rare to get a bad reaction from the flu shot. "Less than five percent," he said.

"When people say that they've received a flu shot and gotten the flu from it, that's a myth," said Dill.

People who get the flu, normally get symptoms like fever or chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, and extreme fatigue.

If you or someone you are caring for is at high risk of flu-related complications and you suspect the flu, call a doctor.

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