The Transylvania Times -

Get Your Flu Shot Before The Holidays - Transylvania County, NC

 

November 23, 2017



With the holidays quickly approaching, there will be more opportunities to spend time with family and friends. Now is the time to ensure that you and those around you are protected from flu by getting your seasonal flu vaccine.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so it’s important to get vaccinated now before the flu begins circulating in the community.

Whether you are a parent, grandchild, best friend or coworker, you can play a role in encouraging other people to get their flu vaccine. Get your flu shot and talk to others about the importance of everyone 6 months and older getting a flu shot every year.

Flu can be a serious illness, even for otherwise healthy children and adults. While most people will recover from flu without complications, anyone can experience severe illness, hospitalization or death. Therefore, getting vaccinated is a safer choice than risking serious illness for yourself or those around you.

The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. Flu shots do not contain flu viruses that could infect you and cause flu illness. Flu shots either contain flu viruses that have been “inactivated” (or killed) and therefore are not infectious, or they are recombinant influenza vaccines and do not contain any flu viruses at all.

Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu. Flu vaccines can also reduce your risk of serious illness and hospitalization by reducing the length and severity of symptoms.

Getting vaccinated yourself may also help protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and children, older people and people with certain chronic health conditions.

Both “regular” and “high-dose” flu vaccines are available at Transylvania Public Health. Most insurance plans cover flu vaccines at 100 percent, and some people, including children with Medicaid, Health Choice or no insurance, can receive flu vaccine at no cost. Transylvania Public Health can bill some insurance providers directly or provide a receipt for you to request reimbursement: call (828) 884-3135 with questions.

The flu is a serious illness that can cause fever, headache, extreme tiredness and body aches lasting for a week or more. Flu is contagious and complications can be serious, especially in young children, older adults and people with certain medical conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control recommend that all people ages 6 months and up be vaccinated against the flu each year. The seasonal flu shot protects against the three or four influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use this season, and FluMist will not be available.

Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications, including children younger than 5, and especially children younger than 2 years old, adults 65 years of age and older, women who are pregnant or have recently given birth, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, American Indians and Alaskan natives, and people who have medical conditions such as asthma, lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, or a weakened immune system due to disease or medication.

Transylvania Public Health encourages older adults to request a “high-dose” flu vaccine, which is specifically designed for people 65 years and older.

Human immune defenses become weaker with age, which places older people at greater risk of severe illness from influenza. Also, aging decreases the body’s ability to have a good immune response after getting influenza vaccine. High-dose vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen (the part of the vaccine that prompts the body to make antibody) contained in regular flu shots. A higher dose of antigen in the vaccine is supposed to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu.

To receive your flu vaccination at Transylvania Public Health, walk in to the third-floor clinic on Fridays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or call (828) 884-3135 to schedule an appointment on other weekdays.

 
 

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