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FDA announces plans to release familiar flu vaccine in 2011

Many people dread the cold weather season in fear of catching the flu, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new vaccine to help ward off the common virus. In fact, this year's formula is virtually identical to the one used by doctors last year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The only difference between the the old shot and the new one is that those with a fear of needles will have nothing to worry about. The 2011 flu shot can be injected into the skin, rather than the muscle, with one of the thinnest needles available on the market.

"It is important to get vaccinated every year, even if the strains in the vaccine do not change, because the protection received the previous year will diminish over time," FDA representative Karen Midthun said in a release, according to the news source.

An air purifier can help reduce the risk of contracting the flu as well. A HEPA filter can remove bacteria from the atmosphere, lowering the chances of catching a cold.

The IQAir HealthPro Plus has a HyperHEPA filter that can eliminate ultrafine particles smaller than 0.3 microns in size. It can potentially reduce the levels of airborne bacteria in up to 900 square feet of space.