Thinking of skipping a flu shot this year? The researcher who leads the effort to find an effective vaccine for the influenza virus strongly urges you to reconsider.

“People think, well, it’s just the flu,” explains Dr. Gregory Poland, head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group. “In the U.S. alone last year, 80,000 Americans died from influenza and its complications,” says Dr. Poland. “And almost a million were hospitalized. That’s a huge burden of disease — much of it preventable by flu vaccine.”


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