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Flu Season is Upon Us, Be Sure to Get a Flu Shot!

flu
Closeup of a doctor holding a tablet computer with a chalkboard screen with the words Flu Shots Here. Man is unrecognizable.

Are flu shots actually helpful? Some would say they actually get them sick and they refuse to get them. But for others they can be lifesaving. It is important to remember that the flu shot is helpful but it does not respond to everyone’s body, it can be helpful or not so helpful. Flu season in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.  Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. CDC estimates that flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 ranged from 140,000 to 710,000, while flu-related deaths are estimated to have ranged from 12,000 to 56,000. During flu season, flu viruses circulate at higher levels in the U.S. population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

Flu symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle aches

Getting the shot is a smart idea. It makes a big difference in hospitalization and death rates among older adults who live at home and those in nursing homes. A high-dose flu vaccine is made just for seniors. It has four times as much active ingredient as a regular flu shot to provide a better immune response in older people. It’s recommended for people i65 and older, if it’s available. Keep in mind that the seasonal flu viruses change each year, so older adults need to get a new flu shot each fall. Also, there are two vaccines to prevent pneumonia. If you’re a healthy adult over age 65, the CDC suggests you get both vaccines.

Don’t forget if you need a flu shot you don’t have to make a visit to your doctor. You can visit your local Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, and Target at no cost to you. So that is a definite added bonus.

If you or a loved one needs help getting a flu shot please give Relevar Home Care a call. Flu season is upon us and its best to take precautions. Give us a call at (586) 493-7677.