Are you prepared for flu season this year?
A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
reports the flu season in the United States can
range from November through March.
influenza vaccine can be given before or during
the flu season. Read on to dispel myths about the
flu vaccine that may be preventing you from taking
this very important step in preserving your health!
"The flu is just like a bad cold." = FALSE
Influenza (flu) is far more dangerous than a bad
cold. It's a disease of the lungs, and it can lead
to pneumonia. Each year about 114,000 people in
the U.S. are hospitalized and about 20,000 people
die because of the flu. Most who die are over 65
years old. But small children less than 2 years
old are as likely as those over 65 to have to go
to the hospital because of the flu.
"The shot can give you the flu." = FALSE
Flu vaccines are made from killed influenza viruses.
These cannot give you the flu.
"Even if I get a flu shot, I can still get the
flu." = MAYBE
This can happen, but the flu shot usually protects
most people from the flu. However, the flu shot
will not protect you from other viruses that can
cause illnesses that sometimes feel like the flu.
"The vaccine isn't 100% effective, so I'm better
off getting the flu." = FALSE
No vaccine is 100% effective. However, if you get
a flu shot but still get the flu, you are likely
to be far less sick than you would have been without
"The side effects are worse than the flu." =
The worst side effect you're likely to get is a
sore arm. The risk of a rare allergic reaction is
far less than the risk of severe complications from
"Not everyone can take the flu shot." = TRUE
If you are allergic to eggs (used in making the
vaccine); are very ill with a high fever; or have
had a severe reaction to the flu vaccine in the
past, you might not be able to get this protection.
"Only the very old and sick need the flu shot."
Both adults and children who are in good health
need a flu shot to stay healthy. Even if you aren't
at high risk of complications, you should get a
flu shot to prevent the flu and to protect everyone
you live with and contact.
"December is too late to get a flu shot." = FALSE
The flu shot can be given before or during the flu
season. While the best time to get a flu shot is
October or November, a flu shot in December or later
will still protect you against the flu.
For more information: Ask your health care provider
or call the CDC Immunization Information Hotline.
See our "Life Experiences" section of the Community
Center to discuss the flu at www.ecorsolutions.com
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