Are flu shots the only option?

Can you make it through a winter free of the dangers of catching the flu? Vaccinations are increasingly offered, and we're told that the older we get, the more important it is to have shots.

But as one epidemiologist with the influenza branch of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last fall, flu shots are effective only 30 to 70 percent of the time for people over age 65. For younger, healthy people, the effective rate is in the 70 to 90 percent range. "You want to do whatever you can to help lower the risk for yourself or someone in your care," said Dr. Carolyn Buxton Bridges (see "Physicians Call For Change in Flu Vaccine Recommendations," by John Cutter, WebMDHealth).

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