Have you gotten your flu shot yet?
The flu season usually starts in the month of September all the way into May. It’s important for people to get the flu shot to help stop the spread of this highly contagious illness. I know some people do not like to get the immunization because they believe it makes them sick, or they don’t think it works, or are allergic to eggs, or even believe there’s a link to the shot and autism in babies and toddlers. I will give you up to date information from Web MD and the CDC (Center’s for Disease Control) website. This way you can make an informed decision on whether to get the shot or not.
Facts on Influenza
- Influenza causes more than 200,000 people in the United States to be hospitalized every year. Up to 49,000 people die each year due to flu related causes.(such as myself, I had an underlying liver disease and when I caught the stomach flu it caused my liver to fail and I almost lost my life).
- Individuals that are more susceptible to catching the flu are ones with compromised immune systems, the elderly, infants under 6months of age, pregnant women, diabetics, and people who live with a disease.
- For people who cannot take the vaccine due to health or age related reasons depend on everyone else to get vaccinated to help contain the spread. People that should especially get vaccinated are caregivers of infants too young to get vaccinated, caregivers of the elderly, employees in healthcare field.
- In 2010 the US Advisory Committee On Immunization Practices expanded the recommendation for influenza vaccine to include all people 6 months of age and older.
- People 65 years old and older are recommended to get a high dose version of the flu vaccine called, Fluzone, which is more effective at protecting fragile immune systems.
- The CDC now recommends nasal spray vaccine for healthy children ages 2-8, the flu mist (another name for nasal spray vaccine) is approved for healthy non pregnant adults up to age 49.
- The flu mist is a live form of the flu virus. The flu mist has caused transfer of the virus to others, but the risk is extremely low.
- The flu shot is a dead or weakened form of the flu virus.
- For parents concerned for their young, studies have found NO link to the flu vaccine and autism. It was said that the vaccine preservative, Thimerosal could cause autism in babies and toddlers. Over the years the CDC has studied this link and has come to the conclusion that there’s no trace of Thimerosal causing autism. BUT for those of you who are still worried, you can ask for the Thimerosal-free vaccine.
Get your flu vaccine every year
The CDC highly recommends that everyone get the flu vaccine every year (unless your doctor advises you not to due to health reasons). Each year’s vaccine is uniquely cultivated from the Flu Strains Health Officials. They make the flu vaccine by what they believe to be the most menacing strain of that year. You can get your vaccine anywhere that has a pharmacy, or just go to your doctor if you feel most comfortable there.
Prevention is the key to staying healthy. Get your flu shot, wash your hands a lot, use hand sanitizer, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and if possible stay home when you are sick.
I wish you a healthy winter!