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CDC: Fewer Than 50 Percent Of U.S. Residents Have Been Vaccinated For Flu

(CBS) – It's that time of year again, for fever, runny nose, aches, pains.

The flu can be miserable. But as CBS 2's Roseanne Tellez reports, the Centers for Disease Control is reminding people of the easiest way to protect yourself this season.

There are a million ways to get them. But when it comes to flu germs, there is only one good way to prevent them from making you sick: get vaccinated.

Yet the CDC says fewer than half of all Americans are getting vaccinated.

While more kids and pregnant women are getting their shots, most 18- to 64-year-olds don't seem to be getting the message.

"It's difficult, especially because this is also the group who are least likely to visit their doctor on a regular basis," says Dr. Emily Landon of the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Local pharmacies are a great option. Walgreens is offering flu vaccine right now.

It took getting the flu to convince Sara Gunter to make flu vaccinations a yearly event.

"It's something that you can do for yourself and also your family," she says.

And if you're worried the vaccine will make you sick, Landon says you're wrong.

"The vaccine contains killed virus -- and killed virus is not able to make you sick," she says.

And remember to wash your hands.

Current flu shots do protect against H1N1, the dominant strain last year. It's too early to know if that will come back. Most people won't get the flu until after Thanksgiving.

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