Flu shots updated to protect against strain that sickened many last flu season

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s flu-shot season, and health officials expect to be able to avoid a repeat of last winter’s misery, when the vaccine wasn’t a good match for a nasty surprise strain.

There are no guarantees, but this year’s vaccine has been updated to protect against that bug and other strains that specialists predict will spread.

The government said Thursday everybody starting at 6 months of age should get vaccinated. More than 170 million doses are expected. Options range from traditional shots to nasal spray to a needle-free injection.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calls vaccination “the single most important step people can take to protect themselves from influenza.” Frieden says this year’s vaccine appears to be a good match.

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