Doctor Urges Nebraskans to Get Their Flu Shots

OMAHA(KPTM)-Year after year, people are told to get their flu shots, but not everyone listens. "Half to two thirds of the population isn't getting vaccinated, so again the best way to prevent influenza is to get that vaccine," said Dr. Mark Rupp, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

This year, the strain that doctors are seeing a lot of is the H1N1 virus. "That old nemesis virus, the Swine Flu we saw back in 2009, is back at the forefront this year and what we saw back in 2009, is that this virus causes disease preferentially or a little bit more severely in younger people," said Rupp who adds that although the demographic may be different than years past, so far this flu season isn't any worse than others he's seen.

Still, Rupp says the best way to keep from getting sick is simply to get vaccinated against influenza. And for those who worry that a shot can get them sick, Rupp stresses that you can't get the flu from the vaccine. "That's a real myth that the flu vaccine will cause you to have the flu. That simply doesn't happen," said Rupp.

But that doesn't mean there aren't potential side effects. "People, frequently when they get the vaccine will have a little bit of achiness of their arm, they may fee a little run down, maybe even some low grade fevers, nothing in comparison to the real flu," said Rupp who suggests getting vaccinated as soon as possible because it can take two weeks for the vaccine to fully kick in.