Flu Shot Season Is Here!

kid-flu-shotWith fall upon us, it is so wonderful to have nice cool weather.  Unfortunately, the change is seasons also means we are nearing flu season.

Influenza, the “Flu”, is an illness which is highly contagious and this occurs in large epidemics.  It is caused by a virus that infects the windpipe and lungs.  Symptoms include high fever, severe muscle aches, unrelenting cough and headache.  Every year thousands of people die from influenza and its complications.  Many more are hospitalized.

We have two methods to try to prevent the flu. The traditional flu shot is a killed virus and is safe for people ages 6 months and older who do not have life-threating egg allergy. The second type of vaccine is a nasal spray for ages 2 through 49 years. It contains a weak but a live set of viruses. CDC advised the flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. People 9 years of age and younger should receive 2 doses the first year they are vaccinated.  After the first year, just one dose yearly. The CDC states: 

An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

We get the flu vaccine not just to protect ourselves, but our loved ones. We are all in contact with people who are frail, the young and the old.  If we contract the flu and spread it to our loved ones, they may not be too happy with us. 

The best time to get the vaccination is before the illness arrives in our community.  It takes about two weeks after being vaccinated to develop protection to the virus. Protection varies after 6-9 months. Reactions to the vaccine can include soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site, headache, fever, and nausea.  These side effects can last 1-2 days.  The flu itself can take weeks to recover from.

You cannot get the flu from the vaccine. That is an urban legend. We currently have the flu vaccine available for our patients. 

Please call the office with any questions and to let us know when you’ll be by to get vaccinated.

Don’t hesitate; vaccinate!