Submitted by: Unity Care NW
The weather is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and flu season is here. Now is the time to protect yourself and those around you. A flu shot today will protect you throughout the flu season.
Each year thousands of people in the United States die from flu, and many more are hospitalized. Flu vaccine is the best protection we have from flu and its complications. Flu vaccine also helps prevent spreading flu from person to person.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older receive an annual flu vaccination. Everyone should get their flu shot before the end of October to protect them and those around them from the flu. It’s important to get flu shots every year because circulating flu viruses change quickly. Getting an annual flu shot protects you against the most common strains circulating that season.
Remember that children ages 6 months through 8 years need two doses of vaccine the first time they are immunized against the flu. Make sure your child receives a first dose as soon as possible. The second dose will be scheduled 4 weeks later to offer full protection.
Flu vaccination season is a great time for those over 65 years of age to also receive a pneumovax vaccine. This vaccine protects against pneumonia and other infections.
It’s important to know that inactivated flu vaccine does not contain live flu virus, so getting the flu from a flu vaccine is not possible.
Talk to your health care provider to find out when you can receive your flu vaccination. A number of local pharmacies also offer flu shots, often on a walk-in basis. Get your flu vaccine today and protect yourself and those around you from this preventable illness.
If you do get sick, whether with the flu or other viruses, remember to stay home, drink plenty of liquids, wash your hands frequently, and cover your cough.