Protect Yourself from the FluOctober 5, 2012 3:18 PM
This year, protect yourself from the flu!
Flu season is arriving, and everyone age 6 months and older needs to get the flu vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu. The flu spreads easily from person to person. When you get the vaccine, you don’t just protect yourself – you also protect the people around you.
For many people, the seasonal flu is a mild illness. But for some people, the flu can lead to:
- Serious infections like pneumonia
Groups at high risk from the flu include:
- Pregnant women
- Children under age 5
- Older adults
- People with health conditions like asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or heart disease
If you spend a lot of time with someone at high risk from the flu, you will help protect both of you by getting vaccinated. Most people get the vaccine in October or November, and as late as December. Flu season can last until May.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. In the meantime, you are still at risk for getting the flu. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.
The flu vaccine can be given in a nasal spray or a shot. You may get the nasal spray if you are:
- Between ages 2 and 49
- Not pregnant
This year the flu vaccine comes in a transdermal form. “Fluzone Intradermal®” was first made available in the 2011-2012 flu season. The intradermal flu vaccine is a shot that is injected into the skin instead of the muscle. The intradermal shot uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot, and it requires less antigen to be as effective as the regular flu shot. Antigen is the part of the vaccine that helps your body build up protection against flu viruses.
What is the flu?
The flu is caused by a virus that infects your nose, throat, and lungs. It’s easily spread from person to person.
Symptoms of the flu include:
- High fever
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle aches
You can get a flu shot at your doctor’s office or clinic. You may also be able to get a flu shot from your local health department, pharmacy, or employer. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get a flu shot at no cost to you.
At BAMSI, the DD Residential Program and CBFS will be partnering with Apothecare Pharmacy to bring the flu vaccine to individuals. Two clinics will be held, one at the Clubhouse on Perkins St. in Brockton, and the other at Westgate Dr. in Brockton.
-Barbara Gordon, Director of Nursing
Resources: Us Department of Health and Human Services: www.healthfinder.gov