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Look out for the Flu Shot Pinback Buttons at stores near you!

ELB recognizes the onset of flu season from the customized flu shot button orders we get in from the health care industry. The season begins in October and officially ends in May. Therefore, hospitals, drug stores and other health care organizations take the opportunity to market the availability of flu shots. Today we have easy access to flu vaccines from virtually nearly every drug store and even Wal-mart as the retail health care market emerges. Although the CDC recommends annual flu shots to Americans, there has been major controversy about the effectiveness of receiving these shots even within the medical community. Some say they may hurt us more than help us in the long run and perhaps weaken the immune system. Others swear by them. At the root of the controversy, lies the presence or absence of Thimerosal. This property contains a trace amount of mercury which acts as a preservative in multi use flu shots and prevents bacterial contamination. There are a variety of flu vaccine formats and even one comes in a nasal spray form. Shots may also differ in that some prevent two or even up to four flu strains. According to the literature, selecting a single dose unit may be the safest way to go since Thimerosal is absent and therefore no mercury. One can find a list of brands that produce single dose unit shots on the internet. According to the CDC, during a 31 year span, flu related deaths ranged from 3000 to 49,000 people. The majority of deaths occurred when the individual was 65+. Of course, some people may suffer such severe symptoms that they may require hospitalization. In summary, there are flu shot options as well as pros and cons to getting a flu shot. Will you be getting yours this year?