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Prevent the Flu: Boost Your Immune System

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Do Lifestyle Changes Help? continued...

Exercise also helps your immune system perform at a high level.

These tactics alsobump up your levels of IgA, a protein in your immune system that fights infections. It helps keep threats out of your body -- and zaps any that do get in.

Finally, make good hygiene a habit. Nothing beats the power of frequent hand washing to keep germs at bay. Wash them for as long as it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.

What Vaccines Should I Get?

Almost all adults and children should get a pneumonia vaccine and a flu shot, especially seniors and anyone whose immune system is weakened by a disease like HIV or cancer. Babies under 6 months don’t get one.

Update your tetanus vaccine once every 10 years. If you have a high-risk job (like hospital worker) get vaccines for hepatitis A and B.

Children and teens need these:

The CDC says all children ages 11 to 12 need a vaccine for meningitis with a booster at ages 16 to 18. Also get one if you’re traveling to countries with high rates of meningococcal disease.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on January 16, 2015
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