Fight The Flu!

December 6, 2011 Updated Dec 6, 2011 at 9:33 AM EDT

By WKBW News

December 6, 2011 Updated Dec 6, 2011 at 9:33 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) The cold and flu season is here. Every year, people struggle through with influenza, but according to Dr. Raul Vazquez, you can take steps to prevent getting sick.

He joined Patrick Taney and Ginger Geoffery on Channel 7's Eyewitness News This Morning with some important advice.

Dr. V says the flu ends with you! Take a pledge to get a flu vaccine and take a friend or a family member to get theirs.

Help control the spread of infection. The influenza vaccine isn't 100 %effective, so it's also important to take measures to reduce the spread of are some tips:

Wash your hands. Thorough and frequent hand-washing is the best way to prevent many common infections. Scrub your hands vigorously for at least 15 seconds. Or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water aren't readily available.

Contain your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. To avoid contaminating your hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the inner crook of your elbow.

Avoid crowds. Flu spreads easily wherever people congregate — in child care centers, schools, office buildings, auditoriums and public transportation. By avoiding crowds during peak flu season, you reduce your chances of infection.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends influenza vaccination for all persons aged 6 months and over.

However, certain groups are at higher risk for influenza-related complications.

These high-risk groups include children aged 5 years and older, persons with certain chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes (types 1 and 2); pregnant women; and adults aged 65 years +.

Children aged 6 months–8 years who did not receive at least 1 dose of the 2010–11 influenza vaccine will need 2 doses this season to be fully protected.