Everywhere you look online right now, all signs point to this flu season being pretty severe. So when I went to the doctor today for my annual checkup and they asked if I wanted a flu shot, I went for it. The 2019 season has already racked up almost two dozen cases in Maine, and we're just days in.

So, who should be getting flu shots? I reached out to the Community Relations Dept. at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, and they shed some light on the subject. Obviously, the general consensus is that everyone should probably be getting one. An ounce of prevention, as they say.

In particular, pregnant women should definitely be getting it. Newborns can't get the vaccine until at least 6 months old. So, moms will be the first line of defense. Also, there are lots of folks who can't get the vaccine for a variety of reasons, so other people getting it helps prevent spreading it to them as well. So it's kinda the neighborly thing to do.

A lot of people think you can get sick from the shot, and it prevents them from getting it. And it's one of those true/not true situations. There is no live virus in the vaccine, but your body does recognize the "invasion" if you will, but the symptoms are over within 12 hours, typically. So you can feel some symptoms, but you're not actually getting the real flu.

At the end of the day, just try to do healthy things. Wash your hands (this is turbo-important), cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough, and maybe most importantly, if you have the flu, don't be a tough guy. Stay home!

If you're not sure where to get a flu shot, you can check out FluShot.HealthMap.org, CDC.gov/Flu, or 211Maine.org. All those places can tell you where to go to get a shot if you need one. Your primary care physician will always help you out too, but there's no need to go without.

So stay healthy, and try to keep others healthy too. It's a long way til June....