LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The CDC suggests the average number of annual flu deaths in the U.S. has climbed to nearly 50,000 people a year.
Dr. Richard Lampe, Chairman of Pediatrics at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, got his annual flu shot live during Healthwise at 5 to show that the flu can be scary, but the flu shot is not.
While Amber Garcia, a nurse, poked him in the arm with the vaccine, Dr. Lampe said, "This works. Every year we have an epidemic of influenza, the more people who protect themselves, the less hospitalizations, the less deaths."
Dr. Lampe says he strongly believes that this flu shot is safe and effective.
In response to all those who argue that the flu shot gave them the flu, he says, "The flu shot is a killed virus. It can not give the flu. So, they might feel a little muscle ache. They might have felt that muscle ache whether they had the shot or not."
The CDC recommends an annual flu shot for everyone over 6 months of age.
In the words of Dr. Lampe, "This is a no brainer. There are less deaths in people who receive the vaccine. There are less hospitalizations in people who receive the vaccine. There are less children who die. It is very important."
Dr. Lampe says his vaccine was a high dose flu shot, which is recommended for people over age 65. And it was obvious that the shot given to him was as quick and simple as any other flu shot, even though his dosage was stronger.
The bottom line... Now is the time to get a flu shot if you have not done so already.
The immunization protects for one flu season. So your flu shot last year will not work for this year.
Remember that it takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to build an immunity against the flu.
This year, flu shots are widely available at drug stores, major retailers and area clinics.