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An article titled "Middle-Aged Beijing Man Under the Flu" - in which a man recounts how the virus claimed his father's life in less than a month - went viral in February, garnering over 10 million views and contributing to a public panic to get vaccinated. "The flu vaccine is an inactivated virus, that is (injected), so it's not infectious, and so it can not give you the flu".

"We do know from the Southern Hemisphere, which is not always a ideal correlation, that it was a relatively quiet year for the Southern Hemisphere, and they were in an H1N1 year, which is included in this (year's) vaccine, so it could be a good match".

The situation isn't any better in the nation's capital: Sources from Beijing's Center for Disease Control and Prevention in October told China Securities Journal - a newspaper affiliated with state-owned Xinhua News Agency - that the city's reserves of flu vaccines were completely depleted just four days after they were made available to the public. However, anytime during the flu season would be ok.

The free flu vaccine is offered to priority groups as part of the Stay Well This Winter campaign.

Patricia Moses, a mother-of-three from London, decided that her son, when he was two years old, should have the flu nasal spray vaccine.

"It's a dead virus", said Stiles, "it does not cause the flu". The health unit says the flu vaccine is safe.

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But a 2015 government report said some 100,000 Marseille residents were living in housing that was risky to their health or security.

But what we know for certain is that complications from flu include ear and sinus infections, pneumonia, and worsening of chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD, and congestive heart failure.

Becoming ill with a serious infection such as flu causes blood sugar levels to rise so high that they become risky, which is why people with diabetes, in particular, are at serious risk.

If you miss today's flu clinic at the community centre, you can visit Shopper's Drugmart, London Drugs, the pharmacy at Save-on-Foods, as well as the Superstore pharmacy to get a flu vaccine.

But exactly how strong the shot should be, and whether additional injections would boost immunity, requires more study.

The CDC recommends a flu shot every year for everyone 6 months and older. The development of a universal vaccine is more challenging but it promises much greater results, and deserves more support. "The other thing is if the strain has changed enough, the vaccine doesn't cover it all, or, if the strain wasn't expected appears, then obviously we tend to get worse years in terms of number of cases than anticipated". Vaccines can and should continue to be given as requested throughout the influenza season, the CDC said.


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