Health & Science

Yes, It Is Possible To Get Your Flu Shot Too Soon

Sep 15, 2016

The pitches from pharmacy chains started in August: Come in and get your flu shot.

Convenience is touted. So are incentives. CVS offers a 20-percent-off shopping pass for everyone who gets a shot, while Walgreens donates toward international vaccination efforts.

The start of flu season is still weeks, if not months, away. Yet marketing of the vaccine has become an almost year-round effort that starts when the shots become available in August and is hyped as long as the supply lasts — often into April or May.

Samantha Cannariato has been trying to return her Samsung Galaxy Note 7 for more than a week. All owners have been urged to exchange the device after reports of phones exploding or catching fire. After hours in calls and five trips to the store, Cannariato still can't get rid of the phone.

From anthrax outbreaks in thawing permafrost to rice farms flooded with salty water, climate change seems to play a bigger and bigger role in global health each year.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

My mother swears I learned to read by watching The Electric Company on TV, so maybe that's why I was initially a bit lax when it came to my daughter and screen time.

But after realizing she would be perfectly content to spend every free minute switching between the PBS Kids app and toy unboxing videos on YouTube, my husband and I drew several lines in the sand and drastically limited her screen use by both time and content.

Sugar shocked.

That describes the reaction of many Americans this week following revelations that, 50 years ago, the sugar industry paid Harvard scientists for research that shifted the focus away from sugar's role in heart disease — and put the spotlight squarely on dietary fat.

What might surprise consumers is just how many present-day nutrition studies are still funded by the food industry.

Donald Trump sat down with controversial TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz on his show, set to air Thursday, to discuss his personal health and medical history.

"These babies do not catch up as they grow," says Dr. Antonia Augusto Moura da Silva of the Federal University of Maranhao, Sao Luis, Brazil.

High deductible health plans are the new normal.

Just over half of employees this year have a health insurance policy with a deductible of at least $1,000, according to a survey of employers from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

It's the continuation of a multiyear trend of companies passing more of the costs of employee health care back onto workers.

Health care providers and insurers agree that it's in everyone's best interest to refer women for genetic testing if their family history of breast or ovarian cancer puts them at higher risk. What they don't agree on is what should happen before testing — whether women need to be advised by a certified genetic counselor or someone with similar training before the test is ordered.

Ever since home video games were introduced four decades ago, mastering them has typically involved late nights in front of a screen, fueled by junk food.

But now that colleges offer scholarships for gamers and pro teams compete for big prizes, some gamers are heading to the gym to train.

Fourteen self-driving Ford Fusions idle in front of Uber's Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh.

On each vehicle, dozens of stationary and spinning cameras collect 1.4 million distance measurements per second, guiding the car on its journey.

Beginning Wednesday, the cars will be deployed on Pittsburgh's streets in a striking experiment by Uber to introduce self-driving technology to its passengers.

Nigeria has to get rid of polio — again.

Last year, the World Health Organization declared the country to be "polio-free." That milestone meant the disease was gone from the entire continent of Africa, a major triumph in the multibillion-dollar global effort to eradicate the disease.

But that declaration of "polio-free" turned out to be premature.

Every morning, Mia and Chris tape a red or a green piece of paper to their front door. It's a signal for their son's bus driver. Green, pick him up. Red, keep driving.

On this morning, at 6, it's not looking good.

Mia and Chris climb the stairs and gentry try to wake Jared, their 16-year-old. They've brought him breakfast and his medication:

"You don't want to get up?" Mia asks Jared.

"No."

"How is your head?"

"It hurts."

"Just go for a little while? It's only a half day," Chris tries to coax his son.

"No."

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