It’s mid-December, but the Illinois Department of Public Health is still promoting flu shots. A flu shot will work throughout the flu season, which is just getting going, says Dr. Lamar Hasbrouck, head of the Department of Public Health. “The peak is actually now. It’s usually January, December-January is the peak in terms of the rates (of infection), but flu is circulating all the way through March, so even after the New Year, January-February is a good time to get vaccinated,” he said.
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Why do we still have the flu, which is sometimes fatal? Because flu shot participation in Illinois is only 40 to 50 percent, Hasbrouck says, and because the effectiveness of the vaccine is 60 to 70 percent – though if you are vaccinated and you get the flu anyway, it’ll be milder.