Cold and flu season is right around the corner! Get your flu shot before flu season hits Washington. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot every year.

Some people can’t get a flu shot, like infants and those who have serious illnesses or may be allergic to the vaccine. When everyone who can get a flu shot gets one, the disease doesn’t spread as easily and helps keep everyone safe.

The flu is a lot more dangerous than a cold, even though they have a lot of the same symptoms. They both cause coughing, sneezing, body ache, and tiredness, but the flu makes you feel worse and you are sicker for longer.

You can’t vaccinate against colds, but you can vaccinate against the flu. Before there was a vaccine, the flu killed thousands of people. In 1918, 5,000 people died from influenza in Washington. Now, a bad flu year will cause a few hundred people to die. The flu spreads easily and can be deadly, which is why it’s so important to get a flu shot.

If you’re not sure where to get a flu shot, call your doctor or local pharmacy. Side effects are usually mild. You may get some redness or swelling where you got the shot. Because the virus that causes the flu can change, the vaccine won’t protect you 100 percent. Wash your hands, get enough rest, and if you start to feel sick, go see a doctor.