Who Should Get Flu Shots?

Anthrax fears have sparked a run on influenza vaccines, but getting shots for the wrong reasons could backfire

It sounded like a good idea when New York City's Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, advised New Yorkers last week to get a flu shot. After all, 20,000 Americans each year die of influenza. And this year in particular, the mayor suggested, getting a flu shot might be an especially good idea, since it could help doctors distinguish between flu and the deadly inhalational form of anthrax. How? Both anthrax and flu exhibit strikingly similar symptoms--fever, chills and muscle aches--in the early days of the infection. Physicians would be quick to suspect anthrax in anyone who was vaccinated against flu and still developed...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!