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By Vicki Vann | Patient Education Specialist 

The upcoming flu season is approaching. Influenza ("flu") is a contagious disease that spreads throughout the United States every year, usually from October to May. The flu is caused by a virus that is spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact with infected people.

All adults should get a seasonal flu vaccine every year. This vaccine is important for people with chronic illness and health conditions such as cancer that may put them at risk for a flu-related illness.

Flu vaccination can reduce the spread of virus and prevent flu-related hospitalizations. It is recommended that all adults receive the flu vaccine every year. This vaccine works with your body’s natural defenses to help it develop immunity to the flu. Sometimes after receiving the vaccine you may have minor symptoms, such as soreness or redness at the vaccination site, tiredness, or fever. These symptoms last for one to two days after receiving your vaccine and are normal as your body is building defenses against the flu.

The flu vaccine can keep you from getting the flu, make the flu less severe if you do get it, and keep you from spreading the flu to your family and others.

Please talk with your primary care doctor or Moffitt oncologist about whether the flu vaccine is right for you and the best place to get it. The flu vaccine will be available to current Moffitt patients with an order from their healthcare provider.

You can’t afford to get sick. The flu vaccine is the safest way to help you protect your health!