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INDIANAPOLIS — The holiday season is here, and so is the flu season. 

The best protection against the flu is the flu vaccine, even though flu season is already underway, according to Dr. Sandy Morris with MedExpress Urgent Care.

“Everybody should get a flu shot,” Dr. Morris told WIBC, “but it’s most crucial for people who are higher risk, such as the very young, the very old, people with compromised immunity, and people with lung diseases.” 

The flu can continue to spread as late as May, so getting vaccinated now can protect you for the rest of the season, Morris said.

If you’re worried about getting the flu from the flu shot, don’t be — Morris said that’s just not possible.

“The flu shot does not contain a live virus, so there’s no way to get the flu from a flu shot,” Morris explained. “After your flu shot, some mild, generalized achiness, a little bit of fatigue, and maybe a low-grade fever are all normal. That’s because it’s part of the process of getting immunity.”

If you’ve already had your flu shot, there are still steps you can take to protect yourself from the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid spending time around people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you have the flu or flu-like symptoms.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth — germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with germs.

If you get the flu, you should stay home and limit your contact with other people. If your symptoms become severe, call your doctor or go to the hospital.

(Photo by Zinkevych/Thinkstock.)