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New Flu Shot Provides Better Protection

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- It's just about that time of year when you and your family need to get a flu shot. This year, there's a new vaccine available to give you better protection from getting the nasty virus.

At the Benton Franklin Health District they recommend everyone get a flu shot now before the flu season picks up this fall.

And what's different this year is you can get a shot that protects against an additional strain of the virus.

The usual flu shot protects against three strains of the flu virus. But this year, for the first time, a vaccine is available to protect against four strains.

The new shot is called the quadrivalent vaccine and will be widely available next month.

It will only account for about a quarter of the vaccines available this year, but experts encourage people to request the new shot for better protection.

"Since the new quadrivalent flu vaccine will protect against one extra strain, it's more likely that we'll be able to fight against the actual active strain of flu this year," said Dr. Amy Person, Benton Franklin Health District.

Dr. Person suggests people get their flu shot in early fall even though flu season peaks in January.

The shot will protect you from getting sick through the entire flu season.

The health district expects to get the new shot within the next few weeks and some pharmacies already have it in. So be sure to ask if it's available when you go to get your shot.