The number of flu-related deaths in Indiana has now reached 21. Health officials say two of the deaths occurred in individuals younger than 18 years of age. No official shortages of the influenza vaccine have been reported, and the Gibson County Health Department continues to offer flu vaccines at their office on South Prince Street in Princeton. This year's vaccine offers protection against the three most common strains of influenza: H3N2, H1N1, and Influenza B. The H3N2 strain appears to be predominant thus far in the 2012/13 flu season, accounting for about 65 percent of illnesses reported. Flu vaccination is recommended for anyone 6 months of age or older. It is especially important for those at higher risk of complications related to the flu to get vaccinated. High risk individuals include pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly. More than two dozen people have died of the flu in Illinois this year, and now state officials are urging people to stay away from the hospital if they don't have to be there.
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