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The Must-Have Holiday Gift

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(File photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(File photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Written by Dr. Dave Hnida CBS4 Medical EditorAs you scurry around grabbing those last-minute gifts, you may want to think about one for yourself: a flu shot. Yeah, I know. The weather has been warm, flu rates have been low … and you’re invincible.

But here’s the deal. The flu business has been slow. And if you haven’t been immunized yet, you’re not alone — rates all across the country are way behind last year’s. However, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.

Flu is coming — it always does. And it always seems to really hit in January and after. So just because you’ve been lucky so far doesn’t mean you’re going to win the influenza lotto.

So why is this week so important? Think about it. Holiday gatherings. Holiday visitors from areas of the country where flu is common. And an immune system run into the ground because of the holiday “busys”.

So, while you may make it, say,  through Christmas Day without a problem — all bets are off after that. The first of the year is when we start to see an uptick in patients who are sicker than dogs, and sheepishly moan “No, I didnt get a flu shot yet.”

Last but not least, if you don’t worry about yourself, think of the children. They are the one who get flu most frequently, and often, most severely. Roll up your sleeve as you go to grab that final present. Santa will thank you.

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