FLU SEASON IS UPON US, AND THE FLU VACCINE IS NOW AVAILABLE.
Each year from October through May, flu viruses are more prevalent throughout the U.S., and Americans face being affected by this serious disease. Influenza may lead to hospitalization or even death, with over 80% of deaths occurring in the over 65 population.
To protect yourself and your loved ones from getting the flu and spreading it to others, it’s time to get that annual flu shot. During this flu season, the Center for Disease Control recommends the injectable vaccine rather than the nasal spray variety.
The flu vaccine, recommended for everyone age 6 months and older, takes about two weeks to become fully effective. It increases the antibodies that protect against the viruses that are contained within the vaccine. In this 2016-2017 flu season, the traditional “trivalent” vaccine protects against the more dominant and severe A strains—A H1N1, A H3N2—as well as one B virus that is less common and less severe. Several other vaccines that contain a fourth strain are available for certain individuals, and your physician or pharmacist can answer questions about which vaccine is right for you.
What about side effects? The flu vaccine does not cause the flu, but there may be some mild side effects, such as soreness, headache, and fever. Any severe reactions, such as difficulty breathing, hives, or facial swelling should get immediate medical attention. For further information or questions, contact your healthcare professional.