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The state health department is recommending that all Alaskans 6-months old and older get the flu vaccine, ideally by the end of October. According to a report by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, 16 adults and two children died of the flu during the 2018-2019 season.
DHSS chief medical officer Dr. Anne Zink says a vaccination can go a long way in minimizing the effects of the virus, even from a flu strain not covered by this year's serum.
"The influenza vaccine does a fantastic job at helping to prevent hospitalizations as well as complications but doesn't always protect you from getting the flu altogether," Zink said.