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It's not too late to get a flu shot; risk of exposure can extend to April or May

State Epidemiologist Kristy Bradley chatted with readers and answered questions about flu symptoms and vaccines Monday.

by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: January 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm •  Published: January 7, 2013

State Epidemiologist Kristy Bradley chatted with readers and answered questions about flu symptoms and vaccines Monday. Read the entire chat recap here.

Should you get a flu shot after you've already had flu-like symptoms?

Yes, once you've recuperated from your current respiratory illness, it would still be a good idea to get a seasonal flu vaccination, because the flu vaccination protects you three different types of influenza, i.e., two strains of type A flu and one strain of type B flu. It is possible to be exposed to different strains during a flu season and the risk of exposure to flu can extend until April or even May.

Is it too late to get shot this year and how long until it becomes effective?

It's definitely not too late, but don't delay much longer. After you get a flu vaccination, it generally takes about 10-14 days to get full immunity from the vaccination. Then that protection gradually wanes over a year's time. This is one of the reasons persons over 6 months old are recommended to get a flu shot every year.

Has all mercury been removed from all of the flu shots? Also, are there currently any heavy metals used as ingredients in flu shots?

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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