ABC’s of the FLU Vaccine

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ABC’s of the FLU Vaccine

Article from October 21, 2013 by Andrew Foehrkolb

Fall is in the air. The days are getting shorter, leaves are falling and Halloween is just around the corner-it’s time for your annual flu vaccination. Why do you need to get a flu vaccination and when should you get it?

Influenza is a serious disease that may cause you to be hospitalized and in extreme cases leads to death. Healthy individuals may get very ill from contracting the flu and may spread it to others. Between 1976 and 2007 it has been estimated that between 3000 to a high of 49,000 people died from contracting the flu. Ninety percent of flu deaths are in individuals 65 years and older.

Unlike the common cold, it is possible to vaccinate against the flu virus.  The annual flu season starts in October and continues into May. The optimum time to get the flu inoculation is in early October. The best way to reduce the chances of getting the flu and spreading it to others is to get the flu vaccine early.

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body within about two weeks after vaccination.  These antibodies may provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.  The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses which current research indicates will be the most common during this upcoming season.

Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccination this season. Individuals who have has a severe allergic reaction to eggs should consult with their health care provider before getting the flu vaccine.

Center for Disease Control 2013-14 Seasonal Flu Guidelines

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