Sick of the election? Get a flu shot when you vote.

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If the never-ending election has made you rather ill, then all the more reason to participate in what's known as Vote & Vax.

The "vax" is short for vaccine. The Vote & Vax program is in its fourth year, with the idea being that if you're going to vote, why not go out and get a flu shot? It's not as goofy as it sounds, since the program is offering the flu shots at or near 250 polling places across the country.

It's certainly an important shot to get: approximately 36,000 people die and thousands more are hospitalized every year because of the flu. And if keeping your health intact isn't a good enough reason to consider getting a flu shot, consider this: every year, influenza costs the country an estimated $71-$167 billion each year. That involves lost work days, Medicare, doctor bills and so on.

So if you're interested in seeing if you can get a flu shot at or near your polling place, just check out the Vote & Vax web site. And, hey, consider telling your favorite politician about the site. Think about all of the hands that they shake, and germs that they catch.

Geoff Williams is a freelance journalist and author.
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