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Should you get the flu shot?

We hear the recommendations around this time every year – it’s flu season and we should get a vaccination, we’re told.

With a few exceptions,  everyone 6 months old and older should get an annual flu vaccination, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Shots are offered at work, at pharmacies and even at drive-thru events. But, if you are a healthy adult, do you need to get the shot?

>>Got a question about the news? See our explainers here

What about your children? Should they get shots?

Vaccine manufacturers are on track to make as many as 176 million doses of flu vaccine for the 2016-17 flu season, according to the CDC. Enough for Americans who want to get the shot during an average flu season (during the 2014-15 season,  148.1 million Americans were vaccinated).  

Included in that number, are 14 million doses of a flu vaccine delivered via nasal spray. The CDC announced recently that it is not recommending doctors give the nasal spray version – which is primarily to given to children – because studies have shown a decline in effectiveness.  

Some recent studies are questioning the need for an annual flu vaccination delivered by any means.

A study headed by Dr. Edward Belongia of the Marshfield (Wisconsin) Clinic Research Foundation, reported that children who had been vaccinated annually for at least five years were more likely to contract the flu than children who were vaccinated only in the flu season in which the study was conducted. 

“The vaccine was significantly more effective … if they had not been vaccinated in the previous five years,” Belongia, an epidemiologist, said in an interview with

Here’s a look at what researchers are finding.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines work to spur your body to create antibodies to fight disease. In the case of influenza, the CDC explains the flu vaccine this way:

“Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.

“Traditional flu vaccines (called "trivalent" vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses; an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. There are also flu vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses (called "quadrivalent" vaccines). These vaccines protect against the same viruses as the trivalent vaccine and an additional B virus.”

How would having a vaccination each year cause the next year’s vaccine to be less effective?

How yearly vaccines can cause subsequent vaccines to be less effective involves the components that make up the shot, according to the story.

Scientists believe that when a component of the influenza vaccine does not change from year to year, the antibodies made from the vaccine from year one can neutralize some of the antibodies spurred by the shot in subsequent years.  

That neutralization of subsequent antibodies happens before the body can trigger a full immune response to the vaccine. The immune response takes about two weeks to fully develop.

If you know that getting the vaccine in subsequent  years can make it less effective, why not skip it?  

You don’t want to skip the vaccine because each year’s shot provides protection against up to three or four types of the virus. Getting any protection against the flu is a good thing.

Each year, vaccine manufacturers include protection in the vaccines for the strains of virus that they believe are most likely to be active that year.

If you do get a component that you got last year and it blocks some effectiveness of the current vaccine, you are still better off by having the protection of the other components.

Vaccine researchers stress they are not suggesting that people stop getting the yearly vaccine – at least not any time soon. They are continuing to evaluate the need for yearly vaccinations, according to Dr. Danuta Skowronski, a flu expert at British Columbia’s Center for Disease Control in Vancouver.

“For me,  anyway, these repeat vaccine effects are among the most important developments in influenza vaccinology of the past decade,” Skowronski told

7 things to know now: School shooter; veto override; more emails; exploding washers

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. S.C. shootings: After calling his grandparents to say he had shot and killed his father, a teenager in South Carolina shot two students and a teacher who were at recess at an elementary school Wednesday, One student at Townville Elementary was shot in the leg, the other in the foot and the teacher was hit in the shoulder.  The teen was taken down by a volunteer firefighter who happened to be on campus. 

2. Even more emails: Politico is reporting that the State Department has been ordered to process for release an additional 1,800 pages of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server. The department had already been ordered to process 1,050 pages of emails sent and received on the private server Clinton used during her time as secretary of State. A deal in a case brought by a reporter led the judge to require the State Department to process the additional pages of emails before Election Day.  

3. Veto override: Both the House and the Senate voted Wednesday to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill that would allow families of the victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts. It was the first time in his presidency that one of Obama’s vetos was overridden.  Democrats joined with Republicans in the move which saw the Senate vote 97-1. Harry Reid, (D-Nev.), was the only senator to vote against overriding the veto.  

4. Questions about mother: More questions are being asked about what happened to the mother of a 22-year-old man who was rescued after what he said was a week adrift at sea. Nathan Carman said a fishing trip with his mother turned tragic when the boat they were in sank and he could not get her into the life raft he was found in. Police on Wednesday announced that Carman had been a suspect in the still-unsolved murder of his grandfather in 2013.  

5. Exploding washers: Reports of exploding top-loading Samsung washing machines have prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue a warning. According to the CPSC, they have received reports of something in the machine exploding in Samsung units made from March 2011 to April 2016.  

And one more

It didn’t’ take long for former college and pro football quarterback Tim Tebow to silence the critics of his move to play professional baseball. The Heisman Trophy winner took the first pitch at his first at-bat and knocked it over the fence – just to the left of dead center field --  for a home run. Tebow, 29, is playing in Florida in the instructional league for the New York Mets. 

In case you missed it

This pen hack video has been viewed 9 million times.

Chelsea Clinton answers Trump's threat to 'say something rough' at debate

Chelsea Clinton said in an interview Tuesday that she thinks Donald Trump’s threat to bring up her father’s marital infidelities during the first presidential debate was “a distraction,” because the Republican nominee is unable to address real issues.

"My reaction to that is just what my reaction has been kind of every time Trump has gone after my mom or my family, which is that it's a distraction from his inability to talk about what's actually at stake in this election and to offer concrete, comprehensive proposals," Clinton said in an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine. The interview was published Tuesday.

Clinton went on to talk about the “tradition” of her family being attacked, and what she thought in the final moments of Monday’s debate between her mother, Hillary Clinton, and Trump.

"Candidly, I don't remember a time in my life when my parents and my family weren't being attacked, and so it just sort of seems to be in that tradition unfortunately."

As the debate was ending, Trump said he decided not to bring up a “rough” matter he could  have mentioned, despite the fact Clinton had attacked him in ads.

"I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, 'I can't do it.’” Trump later said that he did not bring up the issue out of respect for Chelsea Clinton.

Clinton also discussed  her mother’s health in the interview, and why millennials – the generation born between 1982 and 2004 – should support her mother in the General Election.

To see the full interview in Cosmopolitan, click here.

Who was Shimon Peres? Here's a quick look.

Shimon Peres, the former Israeli prime minister and president who served his country for more than sixty years, died Wednesday, two weeks after suffering a massive stroke.

Peres, the last of the generation that fought to carve out a homeland for Jews,  was at the forefront of every achievement the young country celebrated. While he was seen as a hawk when it came to defense of his country, his efforts to promote peace between Arabs and Jews is perhaps what he will be best remembered for.

Peres was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for brokering the Oslo Accords, a peace plan that, for the first time, led to the official recognition of each other by the Palestine Liberation Organization and  the State of Israel.

Here are a few things to know about Shimon Peres.

 • He was born in Wiśniew, Poland in 1923.

• He and his family moved to Mandatory Palestine – an area ruled by the British – when he was 9. Mandatory Palestine became Israel.

• Peres was a founder of the State of Israel. He secured arms for those who fought in the War of Independence in 1948.

• He served the government of Israel in some form for 60 years – at one time or another, serving in all of the cabinet positions.

• He was the man who headed up Israel’s nuclear weapons program in the late 1950s.

• He was the country’s ninth president. He also served as prime minister three times.

• He won the Noble Peace Prize in 1994, sharing it with Israeli President Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

• He was the world’s oldest head of state when he retired as Israeli president in 2014.

• He was the last of Israel's original founding fathers. 

Peres funeral is set for Friday  in Jerusalem.

 Here is Shimon Peres during a Ted Talk in 2015.

7 things to know now: Peres dies; California police shooting; Mary J. Blige

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Peres dies: Shimon Peres, a founder of the state of Israeli who later became its prime minister and its president, died Wednesday, two weeks after suffering a massive stroke. Peres served in his country’s government in some capacity for decades. In the 1990s, he brokered the Oslo Peace Accords, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Israeli President Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.

2. Police shooting in California: Police shot and killed a man Tuesday who was reported to have been acting erratically at a strip mall in suburban San Diego, Calif. Police say the man pulled an object from his pocket and “assumed a shooting stance” facing officers. According to El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis, one officer tried to use a Taser on the man before he was shot by another officer.

3. Saudi bill veto: The Senate is set to vote Wednesday to override a veto by President Barack Obama of a bill that would have allowed families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. Obama vetoed the bill saying it would interfere with a president’s ability to set foreign policy.

4. Government shutdown: A funding bill meant to stave-off a federal government shutdown Friday, failed to clear a procedural hurdle that would limit debate on the bill and move it to the floor of the Senate for a vote. The continuing resolution (CR) got only 45 of the 60 votes needed to move the bill along. The services of the federal government are funded only through midnight Friday. The  CR would keep the government running until Dec. 9.

5. Marijuana on the ballot: Americans in nine states will see a measure on their ballots in November that addresses expanding access to legalized marijuana. Voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada  will consider legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota are looking at using it for medical purposes. Montana voters will consider easing restrictions an existing medical marijuana law.

And  one more

Teasers  from singer Mary J. Blige’s interview with Hillary Clinton for an Apple Music show  has tongues wagging on  social media. One clip from “The 411” shows Blige singing to the Democratic nominee for president then clasping her hands. The second clip shows Blige telling Clinton that "a lot of people in my community think Obama was blocked in congress because he was black." According to the Associated Press, Apple is billing the interview as "an intimate conversation" featuring Blige. ''The 411 with Mary J. Blige" airs Friday.

In case you missed it

'Hillary's Shimmy' is now a thing on social media

Hillary Clinton may not have a future on “Dancing  with the Stars,” she has bigger fish to fry, but she did pop a move during the first presidential debate Monday night that has the social media world talking.

And shimmying.

It was a little shrug of the shoulders, a response to a claim she doesn’t have the temperament to be president, that took only hours to become a “thing” on the internet.

A viral “thing,” in fact.

When Clinton heard her opponent, Republican nominee Donald Trump say, "I have a much better temperament than she does,” it seemed it was all Clinton could do to contain herself. She sighed, said “Ok,” then gave a little shimmy.

The move lasted a little bit longer than just a shudder -- not as long as a full shoulder roll.

It went like this:

At that moment, or soon thereafter, a gif was born, and it was named “Hillary’s shimmy.” The most popular gif using the move also  featured  former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal and some cat that,  frankly, knows how to shake it.

Here’s a few versions of the “Hillary shimmy”:

You get the picture.

Whether this moment, out of  an hour-and-a-half of moments, will define the debate is another question. 

Is '#trumpwon' tongue-in-cheek or straight-up? Depends on your point of view.

There is a hashtag trending on Twitter Tuesday named “#trumpwon.” At first blush, you would think the hashtag refers to what it says it does – the assumption that Donald Trump won the presidential debate last night in New York. 

Unless, of course, you don’t think he won the debate and you are mocking the fact that he thinks he won the debate, and you’re in on the joke.

On the other hand, maybe  you’re not sure it’s a joke (and maybe it isn’t),  and you're  just left shaking your head --  or at least a gif you post is. On the other hand, it may just be fun to sit back and watch what everyone else on social media does with it.

Monday's first presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle was the most-tweeted debate ever, and Trump did win that contest with 62 percent of the Twitter conversation from the night. 

Here's what people are saying about #trumpwon on Tuesday.

Those who think he won:

Surprisingly, filmmaker Michael Moore came down in the “winner” column (we think)

No so surprisingly, Trump thanked twitter users for declaring him the winner (if they did)

Those who wonder  why Trump supports don’t get the joke

Those who aren’t so sure either way

Those  who use science to prove it

Those who love conspiracies

Really,  just funny

But did he win?

Who won the first debate? Here's what they are saying

Who won the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? Well, that’s a good question.

If you look at online polls, Trump seems to have had the edge. If you look at media sites, Clinton gets the edge.

>>READ MORE: 5 must-see moments from the first debate 

Ask undecided voters and they are all over the map.

Here’s a look at what some media outlets are saying about who came out on top during the first  of three debates.

Clinton had a better night

The New York Times

“In the first showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump, the presidential candidates exchanged blows on trade and foreign policy, called each other racist and inept, and could not resist letting out stray smirks or occasional sniffles.

Commentators across the web on Monday night tended to conclude that their favored candidate had come out on top. But on balance, Mrs. Clinton was seen as having had the better night, based on the contrast between her steady grasp of policy and Mr. Trump’s tendency to ramble and occasionally raise his voice.”

>>Trump sniffing at the debate gets a lot of attention on Twitter

The lawyer vs. the salesman


“It was a battle between the lawyer and the salesman, and for the most part the lawyer came out on top.

It may be hard to remember, but before Mrs Clinton was a secretary of state, or a senator or a first lady, she was a lawyer - and, by all regards, a talented one.

And after all these years, she still campaigns like one. Meticulous, cautious, controlled. What works in the courtroom, with its rules and customs, often doesn't fly in free-wheeling political debates, however.

Mr Trump, on the other hand, is the consummate salesman. Rules, tradition, even the truth are only relevant in so much as they help seal the deal.”

Online poll results


“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton met for their first presidential debate Monday, and we want to know who you think won.

 A disclaimer: Online reader polls like this one are not statistically representative of likely voters, and are not predictive of the debate outcome will effect the election. They are a measure, however imprecise, of which candidates have the most energized online supporters, or most social media savvy fan base. After all, what they are counting is the number of Internet-devices controlled by people who want to vote.”

(Note: At 9 a.m.  (ET) Donald Trump led 54 to 46 percent)

The winner: Twitter and Facebook

USA Today

"So who won the debate? Social media, in a landslide.

While presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump slugged it out for 90 minutes, touching briefly on cybersecurity, Facebook and Twitter racked up huge numbers of posts and tweets, to borrow a favorite word from one of the debate participants.

Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio called it the "most tweeted debate ever," though final numbers were not available yet. There were 10 million tweets during the first presidential debate in 2012, according to Twitter.

Who won: Ask Congress

The Washington Post

“Immediately after the first presidential debate, congressional Democrats were elated.

House and Senate Democrats said unequivocally that their candidate had won the first face-off: Hillary Clinton, they said, came across as strong, presidential and well prepared.

Yes, that's the usual post-debate routine: Your party's candidate is always the winner. Unless you're a Republican, and your candidate is Donald Trump. A scan of GOP Twitter feeds from Capitol Hill after the debate ended revealed scant words of praise for Trump.”

A win for Clinton


“We ranked the candidates’ performances in Monday’s contest.

Hillary Clinton won. In the first and potentially most consequential presidential debate of 2016, the Democratic nominee presented as composed and commanding, ticking through her policy prescriptions while landing a series of devastating blows on Donald Trump’s record and readiness. A fidgety Trump meanwhile tried repeatedly to ruffle her with interruptions while riffing his way through his own answers, but struggled on both counts.

Trump arguably had his best moments in the opening section of the debate, which tends to be its most-watched portion. Drawing from his stump speech, he conjured an image of a blighted U.S., outsmarted by its trading partnersand abused by its own companies. He promised, with his trademark bluster and imprecision, to get tough on those responsible at home and abroad. “We have to stop our jobs from leaving,” he said, dismissing Clinton as a member of the entrenched political class that’s presided over an economic hollowing-out.”

Trump wins on Twitter


“Now that the first presidential debate is one for the books, here’s how the it unfolded on social media.  According to data released by Twitter, Donald Trump dominated Twittersphere. Sixty-two percent of Twitter conversation went to @realDonaldTrump compared to @HillaryClinton who claimed 38 percent.

The GOP nominee also outshined his Democratic rival in the top three most-Tweeted debate moments. The most discussed moment involved Trump’s description of his temperament.

“I think my strongest asset may be by far is my temperament,” he said at the first presidential debate at Hofstra University. “I have a winning temperament.”

7 things to know now: Presidential debate; Musk on Mars transporter; 'big meteor' in Australia

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now

1. First debate: He said he’d release his taxes when she releases her emails. She said she’s prepared to be president and that he’s “dangerous.” There was no shortage of fireworks at the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in New York on Monday. The Democratic and Republican candidates argued trade, ISIS, race issues, “stop and frisk,” and who has stamina during the 90-minute debate. Both sides claimed victory.

2. Musk to Mars: Elon Musk is expected to outline his plan to build a city on Mars within the next 10 years as he speaks at the International Astronautical Congress meeting Tuesday in Mexico. Reportedly, in the speech, “Making Humans a Multi-planetary Species,” Musk will talk about his “Mars Colonial Transporter” which he says will take 100 people at a time to Mars.

3. Iowa flooding: The Cedar River is expected to crest at 23 feet Tuesday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which would cause the second largest flood in the city’s recorded history. Residents there have placed sandbags and other barriers to hold back the rising waters which are already 4 feet above major flood stage.

4. The new SAT: The new version of the SAT college entrance exam has been taken by nearly a million and a half high school students since its debut in March, according to the company that owns the test. The new test offers more “real world” vocabulary and has a new format. No word on scores yet.

5. Rescued at sea: A Vermont man whose family says he has a form of autism was rescued off the coast of Massachusetts on Sunday after spending a week at sea in a life raft.  Nathan Carman, 22, and his mother, Linda Carman, were last seen on Sept. 18 when they left to go on a fishing trip on Nathan’s boat. A freighter found Nathan Carman adrift in the life boat, but there was no sign of his mother.  Carman told Coast Guard officials his boat ran into trouble and sank quickly. He said he tried to find his mother after the boat sank, but could not.

And one more

People are still trying to figure out what caused a bright flash and loud boom over the skies of northeastern Australia Monday. Residents reported that the earth shook as they saw a bright light streak across the sky. Scientist say it was likely a “big meteor” strike. 

In case you missed it

Ex-Syrian Intelligence officer lied to get U.S. citizenship, may be hiding in Florida, FBI says

A former brigadier general with Syrian Intelligence Directorate lied to apply for U.S. citizenship and may be hiding out in South Florida, the FBI said.

The most recent photo available to law enforcement of 75-year-old Moustafa Abed Ayoub was taken in 2006, investigators said.

>> Read more trending stories

An FBI release said Ayoub was a commander with the Syrian Intelligence Directorate from the early 1980s through the late 1990s.

Officials said he is wanted on accusations he provided false testimony during U.S. naturalization proceedings.

To be eligible for U.S. citizenship, an individual filing for citizenship must have been in the country for at least 30 months, which Ayoub said he had been, the FBI Miami field office said.

Travel records show that during the past 30 months, Ayoub had traveled outside the U.S. for more than 1,020 days, investigators said.

A warrant for his arrest was filed in Florida, where he has ties to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, the FBI said. It is also possible he is in Syria or Lebanon.

The FBI is offering a reward for information leading directly to the arrest of Moustafa Abed Ayoub. If you have any...Posted by FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday, August 22, 2016

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