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New 4-in-1 flu vaccination

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(WOIO) -

It's not flu season yet but it's not that far away and for the first time, there are certain vaccines that will guard against four strains of flu rather than three.

It won't be long before many of us will go get the flu vaccine or the nasal spray.  The new four-in-one vaccine guards against an extra strain of the flu. But it only makes up a fraction of the nation's supply of flu vaccine.

"It's an improvement.  The addition of the second B-type flu vaccine improves your coverage, so you're less likely to catch it.  That's especially true for younger patients," explains Justin Smith M.D.

Experts recommend a yearly flu vaccine for nearly everyone, starting at six months old.  It's especially important if you're over 50 or pregnant.

"Flu is a preventable disease.  So I mean honestly anytime I can prevent people from getting sick, I think it's a great idea," says Dr. Smith.

It's impossible to predict when the flu will start spreading and it takes about two weeks for the protection to kick in.  Flu season typically peaks in January or February.

"If you're going to get the shot, I recommend waiting until about mid-October and then I'll typically recommend in about January getting a second booster shot just to get you all the way to the end of the road," recommends Dr. Smith.

The centers for disease control and prevention says on average about 24,000 Americans die each flu season.

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