Helping Patients Prepare for Flu Season

09 December, 2018, 02:34 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Flu shots are still available for this season.					Luke Hendry  Postmedia

More than 300 sites in Vermont offer flu vaccine, including supermarkets, pharmacies and health care providers.

"It's not too late to get a flu shot", said Vonda Pruitt, director of nursing and social services for the Iroquois County Public Health Department. And there's other people in our state and communities who have elderly grandparents or parents, or even young children. People who have a severe allergy to the flu vaccine or any of its ingredients should not get the flu vaccine. Flu is more likely to be severe or even deadly in these groups than among healthy adults.

What about those who say that they've gotten the flu shot in the past and still gotten the flu? "If we don't get vaccinated, we are needlessly putting ourselves at risk of serious illness, but we are also gambling with the health of children and others around us who can't get vaccinated".

Many people who didn't vaccinate past year had heard that the vaccine was only about 10 percent effective.

As an indication of these misbeliefs, a recent study found that 43 percent of Americans, believe that the seasonal flu shot can give you the influenza virus.

"Each year, the flu vaccine must be reformulated to ensure it is effective".

Early rates of flu-like illnesses this season appear similar to those rates from previous year.

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How well the influenza vaccine works (or its ability to prevent influenza illness) can range widely from season to season. However, any patients with a history of an egg allergy or a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, should speak with their health care provider about options for flu vaccination.

The health department recommends everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine on an annual basis.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that more than 80,000 Americans died of the flu in the 2017-2018 flu season, the highest number in four decades.

Area Democrats 60 and older have gotten a flu shot at 63 percent, compared with 70 percent of New Jersey area Republicans.

There is evidence the flu can be milder and briefer in those who have been vaccinated against the flu. "You really need to protect yourself so you can thereby protect them".

While the vaccine is not flawless, it greatly reduces the chances of getting the flu and lessens the severity should one get ill.

Flu activity is starting to increase across the United States, so if you have not yet had your flu vaccine, now is the time!



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