Should I Get the Flu Vaccine and Where Can I Get Flu Shots?
Posted Nov 01 2010 7:00am
It’s that season again where everyone, especially those of us with chronic illness are asking, “where can i get flu shots?” The good news is this year you just need 1 flu shot, as the N1H1 vaccine is part of the original flu shot. Let’s look at some FAQ because for anyone who has a chronic illness, getting a flu shot is recommended, and the earlier in the season the better.
Most likely, yes, but check with not only your general practioner, but also any medical specialists you may see. You can usually just call the office and leave a message asking “should I get the flu vaccine?” An appointment usually is not necessary.
According to the CDC the following people should get a flu shot.
1. Pregnant women
2. Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
3. People 50 years of age and older
4. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
5. People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
6. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including
a. Health care workers
b. Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
c. Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
Flu shots have never been easier to get. Your pharmacies, health clinics, grocery store, or even your work place all may offer flu shots. One of the best tools is the Flu Vaccine Finder, which is powered by Google. It provides locations that are offering flu vaccinations including dates, times, addresses and phone numbers for clinics offering flu shots near the zip codes provided. Google mapping will also show where each clinic is located. See the widget on this page where you just enter your zipcode.
According to the CDC, the “flu shot” an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
The nasal-spray flu vaccine is a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for “live attenuated influenza vaccine” or FluMist®). LAIV (FluMist®) is approved for use in healthy* people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.
Check with your physician to see which one is best for you.
According to medical professionals, those people whp are getting flue after the flu shot contracted the flu germs a day or so before getting the vaccinne and just didn’t realize it.
Flu symptoms in adults include: The flu usually comes on suddenly, while a cold may not. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
* Fever or feeling feverish/chills (note however, that not everyone with flu will have a fever.)
* Sore throat
* Runny or stuffy nose
* Muscle or body aches
* Fatigue (tiredness)
* Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Most people who get the flu will have a recovery time of a few days to less than 2 weeks, so it it last longer than that the odds are that one is having complications, such as pneumonia. These can be life-threatening and even result in death, especially if you have a compromised immune symptom. See your doctor immediately. You may also be suffering from pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections.
The CDC says while there are many different flu viruses in our society, the flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common. The 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against an influenza A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu as soon as the 2010-2011 season vaccine is available.
Carry hand sanitizer with you and use it, even avoiding washing your hands in public restrooms, and using the sanitizer once you have left the restroom. Avoid putting your hands in your eyes, mouth, ears, nose, etc. Even grocery shopping you can pick up many germs on cans of soup. Make it a habit to wipe down the grocery cart with a sanitizer wipe (which many stores offer now) and then wipe down your hands before getting back into the car. You can find more tips at the CDC web site, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm .
Knowing how to prevent flu is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick.
Remember, we are not doctors and are not offering any medical advice. Check with a medical professional before making any medical choices.
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